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House To Vote On Abortion Sonogram Bill

By BJ Austin

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kera/local-kera-955517.mp3

Dallas, TX –

Democrats objected to how the State Affairs Committee heard testimony but did not reflect it in the official record. They called the delay of debate a victory for transparency. The House will take up the issue with intent to vote today.

On the House Floor yesterday, Houston Democrat Carol Alvarado says the bill would force women to have an invasive type of sonogram that's used for the earliest weeks of pregnancy. She even showed lawmakers a sonogram "wand" used in the procedure.

Alvarado: It is a very intrusive process. This is not the jelly on the belly that most of you think. This is government intrusion at its best.

Republican Sid Miller of Stephenville says the bill requires a woman to sign a statement that they have viewed or heard a description of the sonogram, including a heartbeat. He says the idea is to give women the opportunity to make an informed decision.

Miller: Many testified in committee if they had only been able to see that sonogram, the decision would have been different.

The abortion sonogram bill is one of the Governor's "emergency" issues - pushing it to the front of the legislature's agenda.

Miller says saving human life IS an emergency. Alvarado says it's a case of misplaced priorities: giving a higher priority to unborn children than born children. She says lawmakers are considering big significant cuts to children's programs.

If the bill passes today, it goes to a conference committee. A less-stringent bill passed the Senate last month.