House to vote on new abortion rules

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas House began debating a bill on Wednesday that would require doctors to perform a sonogram before providing an abortion. The bill comes up as the Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists warned that the bill's requirements could harm the fetus.

The proposed law would require doctors to display the sonogram and play the fetal heartbeat for the woman as the doctor describes whether the fetus has arms, legs or internal organs. The woman can look away, but cannot decline the procedure. Doctors warned that if they use the sonogram in the manner described, the prolonged exposure to ultrasound waves could hurt the woman or damage the fetus.

The debate among lawmakers, though, focused on whether the bill was about informing women, or creating a barrier to accessing an abortion.