State Senate Takes Up Sonogram Bill

AUSTIN (AP) – The Texas Senate has passed a bill that would require doctors to conduct a sonogram before performing an abortion and to describe whether the fetus has arms, legs or internal organs.

The bill requires doctors to perform the sonogram at least two hours before an abortion takes place and to provide the woman with the opportunity to view a sonogram, or hear the fetal heart beat. The bill makes exceptions for cases of rape, incest or where the fetus has fatal abnormalities.

The vote was 21 for the bill, and 10 against. The state House must now pass one of four similar bills.

Victims of sexual assault and incest would be exempted, as well as cases where the fetus has fatal abnormalities.

Gov. Rick Perry made the bill emergency legislation, and state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, authored the Senate bill. In opening the debate, Patrick said the bill is necessary to provide the woman with the information she needs to make a decision.

Opponents, including the Texas Medical Association, said the bill interferes with the doctor-patient relationship. If passed and signed by the governor, the law would be the first time lawmakers have dictated when doctors must perform a procedure, and how they do it, according the TMA.

Patrick rejected the criticism.

“This is the only medical procedure that the goal ends in death. There is no patient relationship between that baby and the doctor,” Patrick said. “This is God’s time to pass this bill.”

But Patrick faced fierce criticism from Democrats in a procedural debate that lasted more than two hours.

Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, argued that the bill would “make women do something they don’t want to do with their bodies” by requiring them to have a procedure they may not want.

“You’re going to require them to go through additional state of Texas red tape in order to do something they’ve already decided to do,” Whitmire said.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. Rick McDaniel says:

    Government must stop trying to dictate to women what they can and cannot do, with their own bodies, especially when their purpose behind such dictatorship, is based in religion.

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  2. L J says:

    HEY RICK PERRY! THIS IS NOT AN EMERGENCY. HOWEVER, LAYING OFF POLICE AND TEACHERS, LETTING CRIMINALS OUT ON THE STREETS, THE DEREGULATED POWER GRID FAILING, BEING THE MOST POLLUTED STATE, AND HAVING THE MOST UNINSURED CHILDREN DUE TO YOUR FAILED LEADERSHIP ARE!

    QUIT TRYING TO SET UP A RUN FOR PRESIDENT AND DO YOUR DAMNED JOB!!!!

  3. Ana says:

    While I am not for abortion, I believe it is a woman’s choice. And this bill is just a waste of taxpayer money. Whose going to pay for all the uninsured knocked up teenage mothers to get a sonogram just so they can decide to keep a baby they can’t support. Oh wait. the taxpayers will support them. Don’t we have enough lazy people feeding off welfare?

  4. johncarroll1 says:

    Perhaps you know this, but the more knowledge a woman has, the less likely she is to abort her child. This bill is to assure that happens. As it is now, a woman goes into Planned Parenthood and expects that place which makes a fortune off of abortions to inform her about her choices? Not likely.

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