Texas abortion bill goes to Perry for signature

Outgoing Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), said to be mulling a 2016 presidential run, is expected to sign legislation placing tough new restrictions on abortions in the Lone Star State.

Late Friday, the Texas Senate approved legislation that bans abortions past 20 weeks of pregnancy, sets new regulations governing clinics that can perform them and limits the use of the abortion-inducing pill RU486.

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Passage of the bill followed days of debate that drew national interest after Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis delayed the measure with an eleven-hour filibuster.

The bill now heads to Perry, who has championed the measure and pressed state lawmakers to approve it.  In a written statement, he lauded the Texas Legislature for taking  “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,” Perry said. “I am proud of our lawmakers, and citizens who tirelessly defended our smallest and most vulnerable Texans and future Texans."

Earlier this week, Perry announced that he would not seek reelection to a fourth full term next year. But Perry, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for the presidency in 2012, did not shut the door on another run.

“Any future considerations I will announce in due time, and I will arrive at that decision appropriately, “ Perry said during a news conference on Monday in San Antonio.

Perry, who succeeded George W. Bush, will leave as Texas’s longest serving governor. His 2012 effort to follow Bush’s footsteps to the White House appeared promising early in the race, when he topped Republican candidates in the polls.

But his campaign faltered soon after. He dropped out of the race in January of last year, a full 10 months before the election.