The abortion bill that passed the Texas Legislature late Friday night generated strong opinions on both sides of the issue. Here is a roundup of some of those views:
Texas Gov. Rick Perry:
"Today the Texas Legislature took its final step in our historic effort to protect life. This legislation builds on the strong and unwavering commitment we have made to defend life and protect women's health. I am proud of our lawmakers, and citizens who tirelessly defended our smallest and most vulnerable Texans and future Texans."
State Sen. Wendy Davis:
"Shamefully, the Texas Senate just voted to pass a law that will leave tens of thousands of Texans without access to preventive and life-saving care, all to further an extremely partisan agenda. Some may believe that that this fight has been waged and won with this final vote today, but they are wrong in so many ways. The fight for the future of Texas is just beginning."
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst:
"After a long day of orderly deliberation, within earshot of a roaring mob, the Texas Senate stood firmly on the right side of history with the passage of House Bill 2.
With a 19-11 roll call vote, Senators simultaneously enhanced the quality of care for Texas women and improved the chance at life for preborn Texans."
This vote by the Texas Senate also marked a seminal moment for our republic as law and order prevailed over essentially the same mob that just weeks ago shouted down your duly-elected senators. We all owe our heartfelt thanks to the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Capitol Preservation Board and Senate Republicans who worked closely together to ensure a lively debate did not disrupt the time-honored, orderly process that has served our republic across time."
In short, the passage of House Bill 2 was a victory for all of Texas."
Planned Parenthood Federation president Cecile Richards:
"What's happened here tonight is going to fast-forward change in Texas in the long run, but unfortunately a lot of women will suffer in the process.
These extreme and deeply unpopular attacks on women’s health have lit a fuse – they’ve engaged many more people in the democratic process in Texas – they’ve started something big that can’t be undone. People are outraged by what’s happened here in Texas – and by what we’re seeing in other states – and they know that the answer is to get organized and get engaged to change this state’s approach to women’s health in the long run."
The Catholic Association senior policy advisor Maureen Ferguson:
“Today is a great day for Texans as they pass a bill protecting women and pre-born children who feel pain during an abortion. This victory for life comes right after yet another poll finds that Americans by a 2 to 1 margin favor protections for the unborn who have reached 20 weeks gestation. In a post-Gosnell era, we should address rampant sub-standard practices at abortion clinics and protect pre-born babies. We call on the US Senate to act on the House passed Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act."
Lone Star Project director Matt Angle:
“Rick Perry and other state leaders don’t even pretend to represent all Texans or to care at all about Texas mothers, fathers or families. And they have shredded the truth and broken the rules to adopt a law that will take away life-saving healthcare services and place undue burdens on poor and rural Texans. Perry, Abbott, and Dewhurst have tossed regular Texans aside.
Fear, arrogance and ambition are a dangerous mix. State Republican leaders have decided they should be in charge of the most private and personal decisions that Texas families have to make. These Republican leaders are doing this because they fear the most extreme and narrow minded members of their own political party – not because they care about their constituents - or the health of Texas women."