As an invited crowd of Republicans and anti abortion activists cheered, Gov. Greg Abbott signed the strictest anti abortion law to be approved by the 2019 Legislature, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Sponsored by State Sen. Donna Campbell (R-News Braunfels) the law prohibits local governments from contracting with abortion providers for any service, even if the service does not involve abortions.
The law stemmed from a vote by Austin City Council last year to allow Planned Parenthood to rent a city owned building for use as a health clinic for an annual rent of $1. Anti abortion groups said that was simply a 'back door' way to force taxpayers to subsidize abortion.
"This law prohibits state and local governments from entering a taxpayer resource transaction with an abortion provider," Abbott said.
Campbell said this law closes loopholes in laws that the Republican dominated Legislature has passed over the past decade, designed to defund Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.
"In 2011, the Legislature largely removed state funding from Planned Parenthood and abortion providers, but cities and counties can still enter into agreements with abortion providers and prop up the industry," she said.
Abortion providers plan a lawsuit to challenge the law, now that it has been signed.
The other major anti abortion measure approved by the 2-19 session, a bill that could imprison abortion doctors for up to ten years if they do not immediately provide 'live saving care' to a child who is born alive following a bungled abortion, is awaiting Abbott's signature. Pro choice groups say surviving an abortion is almost unknown, and the bill is simply a way to intimidate physicians into not working at abortion clinics.