South Carolina House Passes 24-Hour Abortion Wait Bill, Born Alive Measure
by Steven Ertelt
February 25, 2009
Columbia, SC (LifeNews.com) — The South Carolina state House on Tuesday passed a bill that requires abortion businesses to give women a 24-hour reflection period before an abortion as soon as Wednesday. Legislators also signed off on the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act to protect babies who survive abortions.
The current waiting period is just one hour and state legislators believe 24 hours gives women considering an abortion more time to reflect on its risks and alternatives and will lower the number of abortions.
Rep. Greg Delleney, a Republican, is the chief sponsor of the bill, which won approval form two House committees.
Tuesday, House members defeated five amendments intended to weaken the 24-hour waiting period and ultimately passed the bill on a 83-23 vote.
Delleney explained that the bill does little to change the existing Womans Right to Know Act passed in 1994.
If an ultrasound is performed, the waiting period begins after the ultrasound. If no ultrasound is performed, the waiting period begins after the woman receives written materials describing the risks of abortion and alternatives to abortion such as adoption.
Delleney says South Carolina requires a 24-hour waiting period before other actions such as obtaining a marriage license and refinancing a house, yet abortion is a life and death decision.
"If you wait 24 hours to be married and three days before you can buy a house," Delleney said. "I don’t know how this is such a drastic bill to give the mother 24 hours to determine if she wants to go through with this procedure."
Meanwhile, the born alive bill declares that any child who is born alive, including those who survive abortion, have the same constitutional rights as any other person.
An infant born alive deserves the same rights as anyone else, Representative Delleney said.
There were no attempts to weaken the bill which passed 105 to 5 and mirrors the federal bill former President Bush signed into law in 2002.
Both bills now move to the South Carolina Senate where companion bills have been filed.
They enjoyed the support of South Carolina Citizens for Life and other pro-life groups including the South Carolina Baptist Convention, and the Palmetto Family Council.
ACTION: To see how your representative voted on the legislation and amendments, go to www.schouse.gov and click on the House Journal for Tuesday, February 24, 2009. Use the search function to find H3245, the 24-hour waiting period before an abortion ,and H3342 for the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act.
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