South Carolina Senate Panel Approves 24-Hour Abortion Waiting Period Bill
by Steven Ertelt
March 26, 2009
Columbia, SC (LifeNews.com) — A South Carolina state Senate subcommittee has narrowly approved a bill that requires abortion businesses to give women a 24-hour reflection period before an abortion. The Senate Medical Affairs subcommittee voted 3-2 for H 3245 and now the full committee will vote on it.
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 the state House approved on a 83-23 vote last month.
The bill received a lengthy debate in the subcommittee and abortion advocates complained about its effects. They complained that women in rural areas would be forced to make two trips to the abortion center for their abortions.
Sen. David Thomas, a Greenville Republican who chaired the panel hearing, said members of the committee would re-examine that issue.
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.
Thomas, Sen. Mike Fair and Sen. Kevin Bryant, all Republicans, voted for the bill while Sen. Brad Hutto and Sen. Clementa Pinckney, both Democrats, voted against it.
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."
South Carolina Citizens for Life strongly supports the bill and is urging pro-life advocates to contact members of the Senate to support it.
Also last month, the South Carolina state House passed the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act to protect babies who survive abortions.
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.
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