Politics & Government

Sonogram before abortion bill moves to Texas House

AUSTIN — As Texas senators gave final approval Tuesday to a bill requiring doctors to conduct sonograms before performing abortions, moving it closer to the governor's desk, a new fight is ramping up over another abortion-related bill.

The new fight is over a bill that renews the Texas Women's Health Program, which many say provides crucial screenings and birth control to women who don't have insurance, but prevents Planned Parenthood -- a family-planning organization under fire by abortion opponents because of its separate affiliate that provides abortions -- from participating.

Gov. Rick Perry praised senators on Tuesday for passing the sonogram bill.

"Ensuring Texans have access to all the information when making such an important decision is a critical step in our efforts to protect life, and I look forward to this legislation reaching my desk very soon," Perry said.

Critics say there are some bad bills for women moving through the Legislature this year.

"It's a terrible session for women and children, particularly if you are poor," said Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth.

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