Texas Governor Perry signs abortion restrictions into law

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry on Thursday signed into law several new restrictions on abortion, including a ban after 20 weeks pregnancy and tough new health and safety standards for abortion clinics in the state.

Texas is the most populous state in the nation to impose a ban on abortions after 20 weeks, and the law would allow exceptions to the ban only for the life of the mother or a fetus with severe abnormalities.

The Texas measures are fiercely opposed by Democrats and abortion rights activists, who say they will reduce access to abortion in the state and could force dozens of clinics to close. Republican supporters of the law say the warning of mass clinic closures is exaggerated.

Abortion provider Planned Parenthood has vowed to immediately challenge the new law in court.

(Reporting by Karen Brooks; Writing by Greg McCune)