Today the Texas House of Representatives will vote on Rep. Sid Miller‘s sonogram bill, HB 15. With 101 Republicans in the Texas House this bill is assured passage. The question is how long will it take, and how many amendments will the democrats try to add onto the bill to water it down and slow down the process.
HB 15 is about providing pregnant women with the best information available while also allowing them adequate time to review their sonogram and to carefully weigh the impact of their life-changing decision.
Not more than 72 hours and not less than 24 hours before an abortion begins a physician must:
- provide the pregnant woman with printed materials required under a “Woman’s Right to Know”
- provide the pregnant woman with a comprehensive list of health care providers, facilities, clinics, etc that offer sonograms services at no cost to the woman
- perform a sonogram before an sedative or anesthesia is administered
- display the live sonogram images so the woman may view them
- provide a verbal explanation of the sonogram
- make audible the heart auscultation, if present
- not accept any form of payment, deposit or financial agreement for abortion services at the time the sonogram is preformed
- certify by signature the above was performed
- keep the certification form on record in the medical file
HB 15 makes exceptions in the case of medical emergencies including those which place the woman in danger of death or a serious risk of substantial impairment of a major bodily function unless an abortion is performed.
HB 15 does not force the pregnant women to view the sonogram and listen to the babies heart beat, and no penalties may be assessed upon a physician if the pregnant women chooses not to view the sonograms or listen to the heart beat.
A physician who violates these provisions shall have his/her license revoked. In addition to physicians, these provisions apply to hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, and abortions facilities like Planned Parenthood.