On Wednesday, Texas Republican Gov.
Greg Abbott signed into law a measure that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy in the state, the first time the state has ever done so.
If the measure is approved, abortions would be legal only if the fetus had severe defects that could have lead to brain damage.
The measure, which has been referred to the State Board of Medical Examiners, is the first of several to pass in the Lone Star State in the past decade, and will likely be the most stringent of any in the country.
The ban is the latest step by Republican lawmakers to try to defund Planned Parenthood, which offers abortions as well as birth control and cancer screenings.
The Texas Republican Party has called the bill “a dangerous, dangerous bill” and “the most radical legislation in the history of the country.”
The bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Brian Birdwell, told The Associated Press that he was motivated by the Supreme Court’s ruling that Planned Parenthood is not required to provide a full list of fetal tissue specimens, and to push back against any attempt by states to restrict access to birth control or abortion.
The bill, he said, is a “bipartisan, pro-life measure that protects the sanctity of human life.”
Planned Parenthood’s president, Cecile Richards, said the law would be a blow to women’s access to safe, legal abortions.
“The new law will endanger women, particularly women who have just given birth,” she said.
“Abortion is not only an essential health care service, but also a very personal choice, and it is the right of every woman to make that choice.
The U.S. Supreme Court said that women have a right to an abortion, but not a right not to have an abortion.”
The legislation, which is expected to take effect in June, has been denounced by several abortion rights groups and abortion rights activists as unconstitutional and discriminatory.
The group the Texas Women’s Coalition, which works with women seeking abortions, called the new legislation “a brazen effort to ban abortion.
This bill is not just a radical, anti-choice attack on women’s reproductive rights; it is a discriminatory and unnecessary attack on abortion providers and their patients.”
Republican Rep, Rep. Scott DesJarlais, who is running for governor, has said the bill would require women seeking an abortion to provide proof of their pregnancy, and said it would ban clinics from being located in rural areas.
“You can’t have a law that says you can’t come in and offer an abortion if you live in a rural area,” DesJarlois told the AP.
“If I want to have the safest abortion clinic in the world, I’m going to have to have a very high standard of care, and we’re not going to do that.”
He added that the measure would make abortion illegal, not only for women who were “at risk,” but also for women living in the area where the clinic is located.
The Associated News reported that the bill is the result of months of negotiations between state lawmakers and abortion advocates.
It’s not the first instance of a measure banning abortions after a fetus is diagnosed with serious health issues.
In 2013, a similar measure was approved by the Texas House and Senate but died in the Republican-led House, where many members supported abortion rights, the AP reported.
In 2017, Texas passed a similar bill, and a similar one passed the state Senate but was defeated by Democratic Gov.
In 2016, a bill banning abortions in Texas that had been in the works for more than a year was blocked by the Republican governor, and the measure failed to get out of the House.
In 2015, a Republican-sponsored measure failed in the Texas Senate.
That bill sought to ban abortions for anyone who had undergone an abortion before 20 weeks, which some reproductive rights groups have said is too late for some women.
The AP reported that Texas Republican lawmakers were pushing a bill that would also bar abortions after the fetus has died of a condition known as ectopic pregnancy.
The legislation is being challenged in court, and Planned Parenthood has said that it opposes the measure.
“As a state, we can and must work to prevent the passage of this dangerous, discriminatory and unconstitutional bill,” Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, which opposes the bill, said in a statement.
“This bill will only make it more difficult for women in Texas to access safe, affordable health care and end a woman’s right to choose.”
Texas is not the only state where lawmakers have introduced legislation to ban late-term abortions.
Last year, California lawmakers passed a measure prohibiting abortions after 21 weeks.
California has a history of passing anti-woman legislation.
In 2012, Republican state Rep. Mike Gatto introduced a measure requiring doctors who perform abortions to provide written instructions to the women and their families explaining that they are at high risk for complications of abortion, including ectopic pregnancies.
Gatto said the measure was meant to prevent abortions after