Monday, May 23, 2011

Texas To Require Sonograms Before Abortions

Thumb-sucking Sonogram-March 21, 2007--12 WeeksImage by mitch59 via Flickr
Women seeking an abortion in Texas will have to view a picture of the embryo or fetus and hear a description of its development before having the procedure, under a law that takes effect Sept. 1.
The bill stirred some controversy in Texas, but it easily passed through the state House and Senate, both of which are controlled by Republicans. It was signed into law Thursday by Republican Gov. Rick Perry.The law says that at least 24 hours before an abortion is performed, women must undergo a sonogram, a procedure that uses ultrasound to create an image.
The doctor, then, is required to give, "in a manner understandable to a layperson, a verbal explanation of the results of the sonogram images, including a medical description of the dimensions of the embryo or fetus, the presence of cardiac activity, and the presence of external members and internal organs," the law states.There are some exceptions, including pregnancies that resulted from sexual assault, incest or other violations of law.Women seeking abortions also are exempt if the fetus has been found to have an irreversible medical condition that will cause a disability."Governor Perry was pleased to sign this important legislation, which bolsters our efforts to protect life by ensuring Texans are fully informed when considering such an important decision," said his deputy press secretary, Lucy Nashed.
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