Texas passes draconian law limiting women's health care options

Earlier this week on Facebook, Senate Democratic caucus chairman Kirk Watson posted this photo.

The NYT's John Schwartz, who is himself from Texas, live-tweeted the dramatic proceedings yesterday in the Texas Senate surrounding one of the strictest anti-abortion measures in the country. The law was pushed forward by governor Rick "The louder they scream, the more we know that we are getting something done" Perry.

No surprise: it passed. Read John's coverage today, and weep.

The bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and hold abortion clinics to the same standards as hospital-style surgical centers, among other requirements. Its supporters say that the strengthened regulations for the structures and doctors will protect women's health; opponents argue that the restrictions are actually intended to put financial pressure on the clinics that perform abortions and will force most of them to shut their doors.

Perry thanked lawmakers for passing the bill: "Today the Texas Legislature took its final step in our historic effort to protect life." A funny thing to say about a law that puts the lives and health of women in unprecedented danger, along with the lives and health of their children. And stranger still, by the governor of the state with the highest death penalty stats in the U.S.

In case you missed it, the final hours in the Texas Senate chambers last night were full of craziness.

Again, from John Schwartz's piece:

The Senate took up the bill Friday afternoon, and people had begun lining up for seats in the third-floor Senate gallery early in the morning. Department of Public Safety officers, their numbers swelled in anticipation of crowds and tumult, searched every bag and confiscated anything that could be thrown — including, for part of the day and until the practice became an object of derision online, tampons. Department officials said the searches had turned up jars "suspected to contain" urine, feces and paint, along with glitter and confetti, but offered no proof.

For shame, America. For shame.

Previously on Boing Boing: "Texas Republicans fail to pass restrictive abortion bill, after long night of filibuster, debates over parliamentary procedure, and 'unruly mobs'"