AUSTIN — A sonogram bill that would require women seeking an abortion to hear a detailed description of their fetus, as well as be presented images and heartbeats, won Senate approval Monday, moving it closer to becoming one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation.
Women could opt out of seeing the sonogram or listening to a heartbeat, if it is detectable, but almost all would have to listen to a doctor outline what organs and extremities have developed. The measure was tentatively approved, 21-10, and faces one more vote before it heads back to the House.[…]
A tougher sonogram bill already has passed the House. Bill author Rep. Sid Miller, R-Stephenville, said he will review the Senate version and is likely to ask the full House to accept the changes so it can be sent quickly to the governor, who has supported the bill.
Under the bill, all women would be required to have a sonogram within 24 hours of the abortion procedure, even if they recently had the test. A daylong wait would then be required, except for women who live more than 100 miles from an abortion facility; they could have an abortion the same day as the sonogram.
In almost all early pregnancies, a sonogram is performed with a vaginal probe. Women could avert their eyes if they choose not to see the image.
In all cases — except for medical emergencies, rape, incest or minors who have a judge’s order allowing the abortion — the women would have to hear a detailed explanation of fetal development.