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Monday, February 14, 2011

ABORTION-SONOGRAM BILL MOVES TO TEXAS SENATE

The Texas Senate State Affairs Committee passed Senate Bill 16 by Dan Patrick (R-Houston). As originally filed, the measure would require a physician to perform a sonogram before an abortion, explain the procedure as it is performed, and require the patient to view the image and hear the heartbeat. Committee amendments now would give the patient the option to refuse seeing and hearing the sonogram altogether. It also changed the amount of time between sonogram and abortion from 2 hours to 24 hours. TMA outlined our concerns with the proposal in a letter to the committee. Specifically, we believe the legislature’s role should not be to dictate how physicians and patients communicate with one another or what procedures and diagnostic tests must be performed on a given patient. The full Senate is expected to debate the bill this week.

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