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Texas to Require Ultrasound Before Abortion

By Jason Beahm on March 11, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Texas is moving ahead with a controversial Texas abortion law that would require women to have an ultrasound before they can receive an abortion. The bill already passed the Texas Senate. It has now been reconciled with the Texas House of Representatives, which had significant differences in their version. Republican Governor Rick Perry called passing the Texas sonogram bill an emergency priority, after Republicans failed to pass the sonogram proposal in 2007 and 2009.

"We want to make sure that they're fully informed, that they understand the medical consequences, the psychological consequences and everything involved in the procedure," said the Texas abortion bill author, Republican state Rep. Sid Miller, CBS News reports.

Under the bill, women would have to get an ultrasound between one and three days prior to an abortion. The expecting mother would be required to view the sonogram, listen to the heartbeat, and listen as a health care provider explains the image.

But Democrats questioned the wisdom of the Texas ultrasound bill, and alluded to hypocrisy on the part of the Republicans, who have called for less government interference in American's lives. "This is not the jelly on the belly that most of you think," said Alvarado, a Houston Democrat. "This is government intrusion at its best."

Eighteen states regulate the provision of ultrasound by abortion providers, according to the Guttmacher Institute, CBS News reports. Some states require women to get an ultrasound before an abortion, others require only that a woman is offered the opportunity to see the image if an ultrasound is performed.

The Texas abortion matter will be an interesting case to follow, as both health care, abortion, and constitutional law continue to develop.

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