“The Texas measure is part of an orchestrated, nationwide plan to outlaw abortion clinic by clinic, state by state,” said Jennifer Dalven, director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. “We won’t sit quietly by while politicians take away our right to make our own, personal and private medical decisions just to score political points.”
The ACLU is involved in lawsuits against state abortion laws, including those in Wisconsin and Alabama, and Ms. Dalven said Thursday she would be “very surprised” if the new law wasn’t challenged in court.
“Abortion is at the forefront of the 2013-2014 elections,” said Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women, noting that her group has a “We’re Not Fooled” abortion-rights campaign. Political ally NARAL Pro-Choice is launching a “Stand Up” campaign, which plans to “go after every governor, every member of Congress, and every state legislator who tries to get between a woman and her doctor,” according to the group’s leader, Ilyse G. Hogue.
A public opinion poll, released Thursday, found that people are divided on new abortion laws.
Forty-four percent of likely U.S. voters favor a ban on abortions after 20 weeks, while 41 percent oppose it, said a Gallup poll. Another 15 percent said they’re undecided.
In Austin, thousands of protesters for and against the bill came to the state Capitol in recent weeks to lobby on the bill.
Pro-choice allies cheered when Ms. Davis stopped the law in June by talking nonstop for more than 11 hours, to run out the legislative clock on a special session called in part to pass the abortion measure. But Mr. Perry immediately called for a second special session, and this time the Republican-dominated Legislature passed the measure.
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill to ban most abortions past 20 weeks gestation; it is now in the Senate.
Several other states have enacted bans on abortion of “pain-capable children,” but some measures are tied up in court.
— Ben Wolfgang contributed to this article.