The swirling force of Texas politics

Senate Approves Sonogram/Abortion Bill

Tuesday, May 3, 2011  |  Updated 12:44 PM CDT
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Senate Approves Sonogram/Abortion Bill

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The Texas Senate has given its final approval to a bill requiring doctors to perform a sonogram before performing an abortion.

The measure requires a doctor to perform the sonogram at least 24 hours in advance, unless the woman lives more than 100 miles away from the closest abortion clinic. It requires the doctor to give the woman the option to see the sonogram and hear the fetal heartbeat.

There are exemptions if the woman is a victim of rape or incest or if the fetus has fatal abnormalities.

Sen. Dan Patrick, a Houston Republican, says he hopes the bill will reduce the number of abortions. Critics say the measure is designed to intimidate women.

The bill now goes back to the House, which has already passed its own version.

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