AUSTIN (AP) - Texas senators Monday took another step toward passing a requirement that doctors conduct a sonogram before performing an abortion.
The most controversial aspect of the bill preliminarily approved is a 24-hour waiting period between the procedures, unless the woman lives more than 100 miles away. The vote was 21-10, and final Senate approval cound come as early as Tuesday.
Republican State Sen. Dan Patrick of Houston said the bill will give women information about the procedure they want performed. Opponents say it is designed to intimidate and traumatize women seeking an abortion.
The bill also requires doctors to give women the option of seeing the sonogram and hearing the fetal heartbeat. The doctor is required to describe what he sees on the sonogram, to include any arms or legs.
The legislation has been bouncing between the House and Senate, as lawmakers work out a final version. The measure was designated an emergency item by Gov. Rick Perry.
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