Another issue that Governor Perry designated as an emergency item, requiring sonograms before abortions, is moving forward. Despite 30 amendments offered to weaken the bill, HB 15 passed the House by a vote of 102-43. This bill contains the following crucial requirements:
• 24-hour waiting period between the sonogram and the abortion
• Sonogram must be provided by a physician or licensed, certified sonographer
• Sonogram image must be presented to the woman along with the heartbeat and the accompanying verbal explanation of the image
• Woman certifies in writing that she was given the sonogram
• Woman can choose not to receive the information
Over in the Senate, however, the sonogram legislation that passed, SB 16, had to be weakened in order to get the necessary 21 votes required for passage. Because of the differences in the House and Senate versions, it is now up to Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst and Speaker Straus as well as the authors of the two bills, Representative Sid Miller and Senator Dan Patrick, to reconcile the bills and send the strongest version to the Governor’s desk for signature.
With the overwhelming support for HB 15 in the Texas House, this 82nd Session may well be one of the most pro-life legislative bodies in Texas history.