Mar 032011

I thought Republicans were supposed to be all about less government intrusion into our lives…

Bill requiring pre-abortion sonograms approved in Texas House

AUSTIN – The House, fueled by a Republican supermajority, tentatively approved one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation late Thursday, voting to require that women receive a sonogram, view the image, hear a fetal heartbeat and listen to a description of the development.

The 103-42 vote followed a debate of more than 10 hours over two days that touched on government interference in medical decisions to whether the state should provide care for babies born if women changed their minds after seeing the sonogram. Democrats offered dozens of provisions to soften the bill, but they were rolled over time after time, largely on partisan lines.

The bill faces one more House vote next week and then must be reconciled with a slightly different Senate version. But with strong support in both houses and from Republican Gov. Rick Perry, it is almost certain to become law.

Opponents called the measure an unprecedented government intrusion into the examination room that is designed to shame women into reversing an abortion decision, and to impose such liabilities on doctors that they will refuse to perform abortions. Supporters said the measure will enable women seeking abortions – who often don’t see a doctor until they are sedated and on the operating table — to discuss and understand a serious, irreversible medical decision.