BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Louisiana’s ultrasound requirement for women seeking an abortion will be changed, with the sonogram mandated 24 hours before the procedure, rather than two hours, under a bill headed to the governor with a 33-3 Senate vote for final passage.
The measure (Senate Bill 708) by Sen. Sharon Weston Broome, D-Baton Rouge, also will require doctors to offer women the ability to hear the fetal heartbeat before an abortion, adding new mandates to the sonogram requirement passed by lawmakers last year.
No one spoke in opposition to the idea on the Senate floor Thursday. Gov. Bobby Jindal supports the bill.
During the sonogram, women are asked whether they want to view and get a photo of the image. Under the planned changes, the doctor also will be required to ask the woman whether she wants to hear any sounds from the fetal heart monitor. Women can opt out of hearing the fetal heartbeat by signing a form saying they don’t want to listen.
Broome has said the ultrasound requirement has persuaded some women to decide against abortion.