A controversial bill to allow a woman to hear the heartbeat of an unborn fetus before having an abortion is working its way through the Louisiana legislature.
A state committee has overwhelmingly approved the measure, authored by State Sen. Sharon Weston Broome, a Democrat from Baton Rouge.
Broome testified that her proposal mirrors a Texas law that requires doctors to conduct a sonogram, describe the fetus, and play a fetal heartbeat for pregnant women seeking abortions.
That law was also upheld by the Fifth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals.
Broome's measure does not require the woman to see the ultrasound or hear the heartbeat, but opponents still say it goes too far.
State legislator Jackie Hawkins said the proposal "is bordering on emotional abuse and physical battery of the mother. My opinion, quite frankly, is this is overreach."
W. "Al" Krotoski, a supporter of the legislation, said allowing a woman to know that information is critical.
"An abortion has serious consequences for both child and his or her mother," Krotoski testified to the committee. "There can be no legal or meaningful legal right for an abortion without appropriate knowledge or consideration being given to what is being done."
Another bill working its way through the Louisiana legislature would ban abortion 20 weeks after conception.