New Bill Requires Sonogram Option Prior to Abortion

By CHRIS TOMLINSON
|  Wednesday, Feb 9, 2011  |  Updated 11:15 AM CDT
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New Bill Requires Sonogram Option Prior to Abortion

Geoff Livingston/flickr

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The Senate State Affairs Committee heard testimony Wednesday on a bill that would require doctors to perform sonograms before providing abortions.

Sen. Dan Patrick, a Houston Republican, presented a revised version of Senate Bill 16. The new version requires doctors to give a woman the opportunity to see the sonogram and hear the fetal heartbeat.

An earlier version required the doctor to display the sonogram and play the heartbeat whether the woman wanted it done or not.

The bill also requires doctors to describe what they see to the patient in detail.

Patrick said the bill is necessary to make sure women get enough information before having an abortion.

Critics said the legislature should not regulate when or how doctors conduct tests.

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