After weeks of debate, a near failure, and continued efforts by Texas Republicans, Gov. Rick Perry signed a bill into law on Thursday morning, limiting abortions to 20 weeks of pregnancy, among other things, and making access to abortion more difficult than in many other states throughout the country.

The bill will also require abortion clinics to become ambulatory surgical centers and force doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic, otherwise they wouldn't be allowed to perform the procedure. Because many of these doctors do not have this access, it could force the majority of the state's 42 abortion clinics to close.

Supporters of the Bill Say...

Republicans say that tighter regulations for abortion clinics would benefit women's health and safety, however, Democrats and women's rights supporters throughout the state and nationwide have promised to challenge the laws legality in court. Previous attempts by other legislatures and within the House of Representatives have tried to impose these limitations, but have been struck down based on the 1973 case, Roe vs. Wade, which set the standard for abortions to 24 weeks. Other restrictions in the Texas bill are still legally questionable.

When Gov. Perry signed the bill today, he said that it was reinforcing "the foundation on which the culture of life in Texas is built upon." His opening statements were met by increasingly louder chants from women's rights supporters and Democrats outside of the Texas Capitol auditorium, The New York Times reported.

After Texas senators passed the bill late Friday night, Gov. Perry released a statement that "the legislation builds on the strong and unwavering commitment we have made to defend life and protect women's health. I am proud of our lawmakers and citizens who tirelessly defended our smallest and most vulnerable Texans and future Texans."

Opponents of the Bill Say...

Opponents of the bill say it unconstitutionally limits women's access to abortions, and that a majority of the restrictions were found to be medically unnecessary by physician's groups.

"The fight over this law will move to the courts, while the bigger fight for women's access to health care in Texas gains steam," Cecile Richards, the president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, told The New York Times. "People are enraged by this law, and it has created a whole new generation of activists who are in it for the long run to elect leaders who will protect women's health."

Although the bill's restrictions on abortions up to 20 weeks and admitting privileges don't take effect for another 90 days, clinics have until September 2014 to meet the surgical center standards, which would require renovations or relocation to meet the architectural and equipment needs. Opponents of the bill said lawsuits would be filed before any of the restrictions take effect.

The Road toSigning the Legislation

The bill went through a number of hurdles to be signed into law. In June, State Senator Wendy Davis held a 13-hour filibuster that effectively killed the bill. However, Gov. Perry quickly announced a second, special session to reconsider the bill. Democrats lacked the power to stop the bill from being passed.

"We do not have the numbers to stop it," Sen. Royce West said last week. "As soon as it's signed by the governor, it will be challenged. We believe the whole bill is unconstitutional."

In an interview with NBC, House Minority Leader, D-Calif., said the bill threatens the "discretion of a woman to make judgments" about her own body.

"The reality is that people in our country do practice birth control and use contraception," she said. "I don't know if my colleagues need a lesson on the birds and the bees. I really don't get it."