UPDATED: Friday, July 19, 2013 - 9:09am
Tyler, Texas (KWKT) — With the signing on the abortion bill by Governor Rick Perry on Thursday, Planned Parenthood began closing its doors in Texas towns.
The measure bans abortions past 20 weeks of gestation, mandates abortion clinics become ambulatory surgical centers, tightens usage guidelines for the drug RU486 and requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic at which they're providing such services.
As a result of House Bill 2, Lufkin, Huntsville and Bryan will no longer have a community Planned Parenthood location.
The following statements were released by the Planned Parenthood organization in Houston Thursday afternoon:
Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast has been providing high quality family planning and basic health care in Houston and Southeast Texas for nearly 80 years. Four decades ago the state of Texas asked Planned Parenthood to be a partner in bringing healthcare to the most underserved rural communities. With the generous support of individuals throughout Houston and Southeast Texas, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast has proudly cared for women and men in the underserved communities of Bryan, Lufkin, and Huntsville for nearly forty years. Planned Parenthood is grateful to the Bryan, Huntsville, and Lufkin communities for their decades of support and determination to ensure that high quality health care is accessible to all. It is a travesty that Texas politicians are stripping healthcare from women across the state, harming lives and unraveling the health care safety net that has taken decades to build. As voices in support of women's health continue to grow within the state and as the chorus of alarmed people nationwide focus their attention on Texas politicians, Planned Parenthood will continue to work strongly to eliminate these politicized barriers and to stand up for women in Texas, no matter what. Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast remains committed to continuing to provide women with the health care they have trusted from us for more than 75 years.
Those in support of the bill are rejoicing today after the the historical piece of legislature was signed.
Representative Dan Flynn (R-Van) was in attendance at the bill signing joined by other members of the Texas Legislature.
"What we have witnessed here at the Capitol is historic," stated Flynn shortly after the signing ceremony. "I am honored to have been a part of shepherding this legislation through the Legislature and am elated that Governor Perry and my colleagues recognize the importance of protecting the life of the unborn and the safety and wellbeing of mothers across our state."
Governor Perry joined other pro-life supporters in Austin saying, "This is an important day for those who support life and for those who support the health of Texas women. In signing House Bill 2, we celebrate and further cement the foundation on which the culture of life in Texas is built.”
The governor has also fought to ensure Texas women get the health services they need, including $100 million in new funding to expand women’s health services and creating the Texas Women’s Health Program.