by Steven Ertelt
February 22, 2007
Columbia, SC (LifeNews.com) — A South Carolina state House committee has approved legislation allowing women considering an abortion the opportunity to view an ultrasound of their unborn child beforehand. When women contemplating an abortion are shown one they frequently decide to carry the pregnancy to term.
Rep. Mick Mulvaney, a co-sponsor of the bill, says that modern technology such as 3-D and 4-D ultrasounds have made it so it’s hard to deny the humanity of the unborn child.
Carla Harvey, a volunteer at Lowcountry Crisis Pregnancy Center in Charleston, spoke in favor of the bill during committee. She discussed her experiences showing ultrasounds to pregnant women and seeing their impact.
"In ultrasounds, a baby at eight weeks will jump on the screen and suck their thumbs," the registered nurse said, according to the Associated Press.
"A lot of times, a maternal bond is made when they can see that baby. I didn’t have that luxury," she said taking about an abortion she had at 18 that she regrets.
Pro-abortion groups oppose the bill but no one testified against it during the committee hearing.
State Sen. Kevin Bryant, a Republican, has sponsored a companion bill in the Senate, SB 84, that calls on abortion businesses to use an ultrasound to determine the gestational age of the unborn child and to review the ultrasound pictures with the mother.
“I’ve always been pro-life, so I thought, let’s do something that might reduce abortions since changing the law in the near future doesn’t look possible,” Sen. Bryant said previously.
He said he expected pro-abortion groups to oppose the bill by claiming it interferes with legalized abortion.
The legislation has been referred to the Medical Affairs Committee and Sen. Bryant says he has both Republicans and Democrats who have said they will support the legislation.
Christopher Hollis, vice president for governmental and political affairs at Planned Parenthood Health Systems, said his group would likely oppose that bill.
Lenna Neill, CEO of Piedmont Women’s Center, said ultrasounds are effective because so many pregnant women who see them decide to keep their baby.
“We believe we can help them both (baby and mother), but we really want to minister to the woman who finds herself in a crisis because of fear and lack of information,” Neill said. “I think it would be a wonderful expression of compassion to offer this valuable piece of information. Decisions often are made in haste without factual information.”
Statistics from Focus on the Family show that 84 percent of women decide against an abortion after seeing an ultrasound of their baby.
Kim Conroy, is the sanctity of life director for the pro-family group and says this service is needed and is benefiting women.
"Women deserve factual information regarding their pregnancy," she explained in a press statement provided to LifeNews.com.
"There are significant health risks with abortion, and at the very least they have a right to know the truth regarding this risky procedure from professionals who will not benefit financially from their decision. They also need to know there are positive alternatives for them and their babies," she added.
Her group has helped more than 200 pregnancy centers get ultrasound machines and estimates it has prevented over 6,300 abortions.