AUSTIN (AP) - Gov. Rick Perry has signed into law a requirement that doctors conduct a sonogram before performing an abortion.
The hotly debated legislation passed the Republican-controlled House and Senate despite vocal protests against it.
The law requires the doctor to conduct a sonogram, provide the woman a chance to see the image and hear the fetal heartbeat. The doctor is required to explain to the woman what he sees, including the presence of internal organs or limbs. The only exception is for victims or rape and incest or in cases where the fetus has fatal deformities.
Proponents say it will ensure women are fully informed to make a decision. Opponents say it is intended to prevent women from getting an abortion.
The law is among the strongest in the nation.
(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)