Updated 12/11/2012 05:54 PM
Perry wants Texas to ban abortion after 20 weeks
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Speaking Tuesday in Houston, the Gov. Rick Perry promised that the Republican-dominated Texas Legislature would spend its entire 140-day session "protecting life.'"
The governor has thrown his support behind legislation that would ban abortion in Texas after 20 weeks, the point at which he said a fetus can feel pain. Before the session starts he's calling on Texas lawmakers to pass what's being called the "Preborn Pain Bill."
"We believe that unborn children deserve the respect of recognition before their lives are tragically cut short," Gov. Perry said.
Joined by Senator-elect Donna Campbell and other pro-life advocates, Perry says his goal is to further tighten the state's abortion laws.
"Protecting the rights of abortion providers and protecting women's health are not the same thing," Perry said. "My goal and the goal of many of those joining me here today is to make abortion at any stage a thing of the past."
Heather Busby is the Executive Director of Pro Choice Texas and says doctors, not politicians, know what's best when it comes to a woman's health.
"That is a very controversial subject and the studies have not supported those ascertains the truth is this is a ban that puts women’s health in danger," Busby said. "No politician can anticipate the unique circumstances of a woman's life and a woman's pregnancy. Therefore it is best to trust women their doctors and their families to make the best medical decisions for themselves."
The legislature has been no stranger to reproductive rights. Last year, lawmakers passed a bill requiring women to get a sonogram before an abortion.
"We have made major steps ensuring that those making the decisions between life and death make the most informed responsible decision possible," Gov. Perry said.
Currently no state funds go to abortion providers and abortions are prohibited after 24 weeks.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.