Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) on Tuesday endorsed legislation that would prohibit abortion after 20-weeks of pregnancy.

State Sen. Glenn Hegar (R) and state Rep. Jodie Laubenberg (R) introduced the Preborn Pain Bill to the Texas legislature earlier in the day.

"The state has a responsibility to prevent the needless suffering of our most vulnerable citizens, and these bills introduced by Sen. Hegar and Rep. Laubenberg are a vital step toward meeting that obligation," Perry said in a statement.

"Texas has done a great deal of work over the last several years to nurture our culture of life, and we will continue to do everything we can to protect the lives of the unborn, until abortion is finally a thing of the past."

Perry vowed to support such a bill at an event sponsored by Texas Right to Life in December. The Republican governor said 20-weeks of pregnancy was "the point a baby can feel the pain of being killed."

Hegar said in a statement the proposed law would "shield these preborn babies from inhumane and unnecessary pain."

Similar 20-week bans have been passed in Arkansas, Alaska, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska and North Carolina. The American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood have claimed the laws contradicted the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade ruling that upheld a woman's right to an abortion until the fetus is viable outside the womb.

[Rick Perry via Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock]