Proposed sonogram mandate for abortions curtailed

By CHRIS TOMLINSON Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas — A proposed law that would require doctors to show women a sonogram of their fetus before performing an abortion will be modified to give the woman greater control over what she sees and hear, the bill's main author said Tuesday.

Opponents of the bill complained that it required doctors to display a sonogram to women seeking an abortion and would force the doctor to describe the image on the screen and play the fetal heartbeat. As drafted, the bill would have allowed a woman to "avert her eyes" but did not allow her to decline the information.

State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, said he would present a new version of the bill that would allow the patient to avoid seeing the sonogram or listening to the heartbeat or the description.