Texas Governor Sets Top Priority for 2013: Violating Women's Reproductive Rights

Proposed legislation would impose unconstitutional ban on abortion with complete disregard for women’s individual medical needs

(PRESS RELEASE) Texas Governor Rick Perry announced today that one of his top priorities for the 2013 legislative session will be a proposed bill banning all abortions at 20 weeks, with only the narrowest of exceptions. The bill is expected to be formally introduced when the 2013 legislative session begins in January.
 
Said Bebe Anderson, director of the U.S. legal program at the Center for Reproductive Rights:
 
“There is no denying that Governor Perry and the state legislature’s unprecedented and unrelenting assaults on women’s reproductive rights in 2011 are causing hardship for women in Texas every single day. And now the governor has made it clear that Texas women will once again be public enemy number one in 2013.
 
“This attempt to create a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to women’s medical care is not only unconstitutional under 40 years of U.S. Supreme Court precedent, it’s downright dangerous and cruel to women.
 
“The citizens of Texas must stand up and demand that their public officials reject these relentless attacks on women’s constitutionally-protected reproductive rights.”
 
A panel of judges on the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in August 2012 that a similarly unconstitutional law in Arizona banning abortions at 20 weeks LMP could not take effect pending an appeal of the lower court’s decision to uphold the law by the Center for Reproductive Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union. The Ninth Circuit panel held a hearing on the constitutionality of the Arizona law last month and has not yet ruled on whether the law should be permanently struck down.
 
The Center for Reproductive Rights, the only global legal advocacy organization dedicated exclusively to advancing and defending reproductive rights, recently launched the national Draw the Line campaign, which calls on all Americans to sign a Bill of Reproductive Rights and tell lawmakers that they stand strongly behind a woman’s fundamental right to safe reproductive health care. To date, nearly 200,000 people from every state in the United States, including thousands of Texans, have signed the bill at drawtheline.org.