Sonogram Bill

Photo courtesy

Texas requires doctors to show a woman who chooses abortion a sonogram of the fetus and hear the heartbeat. State Rep. Jodie Laubenberg (R-Parker) wants to ban abortions altogether 20 weeks into the pregnancy and beyond.

Carol Everett of the Women’s Wellness Coalition of Texas supports the measure. She said she's witnessed a fetus move away from the operation tools.

Erich Schlegel, Texas Tribune

The Texas law that requires women wait twenty-four hours after receiving an ultrasound to get an abortion is not causing them to change their minds but is causing “excessive hardship.”

That’s according to a new survey by researchers at the University of Texas and a Massachusetts research group that favors women’s reproductive rights.

Tuesday marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. But in some states, access to facilities that perform abortions remains limited.

In part, that stems from another Supreme Court ruling from 20 years ago that let states impose regulations that don't cause an "undue burden" on a woman's abortion rights.

Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

Latest Redistricting Proposal Rejected

Late Monday, Federal Judge Orlando Garcia said there’s not enough support for Attorney General Greg Abbott’s proposed agreement with some of the minority groups involved in the redistricting lawsuit. He asked the groups to continue discussing the maps.

Photo by Daniel Reese for KUT News.

A federal judge  in Austin today blocked key provisions of a controversial abortion law passed by the Texas Legislature earlier this year.

The law passed during in early May required a doctor to perform a sonogram, and to read a description of it to women seeking an abortion.

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks sided with plaintiffs who sought an injunction from the rule going into effect. Attorney Julie Rikelman, with the Center for Reproductive Rights, calls the ruling a victory.

Photo by KUT News.

 Cast an Early Ballot for City Elections        

Early voting is underway for the May 14 City of Austin elections. Three city council seats are on the ballot.  Incumbents Chris Riley, Randi Shade and Laura Morrison are seeking re-election. 

Early voting locations include the UT campus, Travis County’s main tax office on Airport Boulevard and some Randalls and H-E-B locations. Click here for a full list of Travis County early voting sites.

Find more early voting information on the Williamson County and Hays County websites.

Photo by Marjorie Kamys Cotera

Senate lawmakers have tentatively passed a controversial measure to require women seeking abortions to receive sonograms — and have the details of the fetus described to them — prior to the procedure. Pending a final vote tomorrow, the bill will head back to the House so the lower chamber can sign off on the Senate's changes. 

Photo by KUT

Last night the Texas House gave initial approval to the abortion sonogram bill by a 103-42 vote. House Bill 15 requires a woman seeking an abortion to receive a sonogram within 24-hours before the procedure. The bill would also require to show the image of the fetus while explaining to the patient what's on the screen and playing the audio of the heartbeat.  

Photo by Ryland Barton/ KUT.

The debate over HB 15—which would require physicians to provide a detailed description of a fetus to its would-be mother—continues to drag through the House this afternoon as Democrats put up a gaggle of amendments and arguments against the bill.

The bill is expected to be approved by the House sometime this evening.