by Steven Ertelt
March 21, 2007
Columbia, SC (LifeNews.com) — By a lopsided bipartisan margin, the South Carolina state House approved a bill Wednesday that would allow women considering an abortion to see an ultrasound of their unborn child. The bill will likely result in persuading many women to carry their baby to term.
The bill, H3355, goes further than similar laws in other states that merely provide women the option to see one by making it a requirement before an abortion can be done.
The House voted for the measure 91-23 after first defeating weakening amendments that would have exempted women who are victims of rape or incest from seeing the ultrasound pictures.
In arguing against the amendment, Rep. Greg Delleney, the main bill sponsor, said the unborn child deserves protection regardless of whether the pregnancy resulted from consensual sex or sexual abuse.
"Are you saying God makes mistakes with the lives he creates?" Delleney told his colleagues.
But Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, a Democrat, continued her attack on legislators who support the bill.
"You love them in the womb but once they get here, it’s a different story," said the Orangeburg Democrat, a social worker. "You’re sitting here passing judgment? Who gave you the right?"
The House will cast its final vote on the bill Thursday and then send the measure to the state Senate for its consideration.
Gov. Mark Sanford has endorsed the proposal and said he would sign it if the legislature gets it to his desk.
"I believe life is sacred, and in the debate over when life begins I believe that as a society we should always err on the side of life," the governor said in a statement he sent to legislators on Monday.
"This new ultrasound requirement is an important one in that I think it has the potential to lessen the number of abortions carried out in South Carolina," Sanford added
The bill enjoys the support of pro-life groups and South Carolina Citizens for Life director Holly Gatling wrote lawmakers urging them to vote for it.
She says this bill "strengthens a woman’s right to know the probable age and size of her unborn child before an abortion."
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.