Texas lawmakers pass sonogram abortion requirement

AP News
Posted: May 06, 2011 10:36 AM

Texas lawmakers have passed legislation requiring doctors to perform a sonogram before conducting an abortion.

The legislation requires doctors to conduct a sonogram at least 24 hours before an abortion and to provide the woman with the opportunity to see the results and hear the fetal heartbeat. The doctor is also required to describe what the sonogram shows.

In cases of incest, rape or fetal abnormality, the woman doesn't have to hear a description of the fetus.

Proponents say the law is necessary to make sure women understand what an abortion entails. Opponents say it would interfere in the doctor-patient relationship.

The Legislature passed the measure on Thursday. It now awaits the governor's signature.

State Rep. Sid Miller says the legislation is among the toughest sonogram requirements in the nation.