AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) – It took around seven hours but the Texas House has finally given tentative approval to a bill requiring sonograms before abortions.
Stephenville Republican Representative Sid Miller, the author of the bill, says the bill wouldn’t require women to see a sonogram, it would only give them the option. “The design of the bill is to have a more informed consent. Right now the information is being withheld from the woman.”
That explanation wasn’t enough for Houston Representative Ana Hernandez, who says it will subject victims of sexual assault to the procedure without an option for them to get out of it. “This bill will further victimize them by forcing them to undergo this procedure.”
Miller says the sonogram would happen one way or the other. “She’s going to receive a sonogram whether this bill passes or not. It’s standard medical procedure.” But Houston Democratic Representative Armondo Walle says there are no provisions in the bill to pay for the free sonograms the bill claims will be available. “I think it’s only fair that if we mandate a new procedure that we not pass the costs along to patients.”
This is a different bill than one already passed by the Senate which means there will be another full Senate debate on the issue before it could possibly go to the Governor. A final House vote will come Monday.