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Perry signs 20-week abortion ban bill

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) signed a controversial 20-week abortion bill into law on Thursday, ending a battle in the Texas state legislature that won national attention.

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The law bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and also raises the standards for medical centers that perform abortions. Critics of the legislation say the higher standards are a deliberate attempt by Republicans to reduce the number of abortion clinics in the state.

Debate over the bill won national prominence after state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) performed an 11-hour-plus filibuster that forced Perry to call an additional special session of the state legislature to pass the bill.

Davis's filibuster turned her into a national political star for Democrats, and ignited speculation that she could run for governor. Perry recently announced he would not run for reelection.

Shortly after the signing, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) tweeted to supporters that the law was an "important step in defending the unborn."