Texas Advances Bill to Hear Heartbeat Before Abortion

Tuesday, 03 May 2011 02:33 PM

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Texas lawmakers moved forward a bill on Monday that would require women seeking an abortion to hear the baby’s heartbeat, listen to a detailed description of the fetus, and be shown images, the Dallas Morning News reported Tuesday.

If passed, the bill would be one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country. It would allow women to opt out of seeing a sonogram or listening to the heartbeat. But almost all would have to hear a doctor outline the development of the baby’s organs and extremities.

“It will be one of the strongest bills in the nation for informed consent,” said author Sen. Dan Patrick, a Houston Republican. “And hopefully, lives can be saved after seeing the sonogram and hearing the heartbeat.”

Patrick said the bill will force abortion doctors to sit down and talk with patients, answer their questions, and provide information. It also will give women at least another day after the sonogram to reverse a decision they might otherwise regret, he said.

“If they chose to change their mind after seeing their baby, that’s a glorious thing,” Patrick said.

A tougher sonogram bill has passed the House, where leaders said they plan to review the Senate version and ask its members to accept the changes so the bill can be sent Gov. Rick Perry as soon as possible. Perry supports the tougher abortion restrictions.

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