AUSTIN, Texas, July 18 (UPI) -- Gov. Rick Perry signed Texas' strict new abortion law Thursday, saying it shows the state's "continuing commitment to protect life."
While the governor and others inside the statehouse auditorium hailed the law, orange-shirted protesters outside could be heard chanting "Shame," The Dallas Morning News reported.
he bill bans most abortions after 20 weeks and requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital no more than 30 miles away. It also places new limits on chemical abortions.
Those provisions take effect in September.
Abortion clinics will be required beginning next year to meet the same standards as outpatient surgical centers, which activists say could force all but five of the 42 clinics in the state to close.
The bill passed this month in a second special legislative session called by Perry after it failed to pass in the first one. State Sen. Wendy Davis, a Democrat, gained national prominence when she staged a successful filibuster.
Supporters of the bill say it will protect women and reduce the number of abortions in Texas.
"Today's signing definitely builds upon our continuing commitment to protect life," Perry said.