COLUMBIA, S.C. – A bill awaiting the South Carolina governor's signature would require abortion providers to ask women whether they want to see ultrasound images of their fetuses before the procedure.
As part of a legislative compromise formally announced Thursday, women must wait at least an hour after seeing an ultrasound to have an abortion.
Republican state Sen. Mike Fair said he hoped women would use the time to decide against abortion.
The agreement was reached after more than a year of debate on whether women should be required to see the ultrasound.
Gov. Mark Sanford, a Republican, has said he supports the bill generally but would review the specifics before deciding whether to sign it.
Clinics already perform ultrasounds before nearly all abortions to verify the age of the fetus. Critics of requiring the test said they didn't want the state to require one, arguing that it can be invasive and painful in some cases.
In Oklahoma, the Legislature voted Thursday to override Gov. Brad Henry's veto of a bill that would require doctors to perform an ultrasound on a woman planning an abortion.
Henry, a Democrat, said he thought it was "unconscionable" to require victims of rape and incest to undergo the ultrasound procedure.
Republican state Sen. Todd Lamb said the bill does not force a woman to view an ultrasound image.
The bill expands on a measure enacted in 2006 that gave women the option of requesting an ultrasound before an abortion. Henry signed that measure.