The House Judiciary Committee spent more time yesterday afternoon debating an abortion waiting-period bill than a woman at a clinic in Columbia, Charleston or Greenville had to wait to abort her unborn child.
How ironic that representatives spent an hour-and-a-half debating Rep. Greg Delleney‘s bill (H. 3245) and a Planned Parenthood-backed amendment by Rep. James Smith before finally sending it unamended to the House floor.
The bill, in essence, extends the waiting period for an abortion from 1 hour to 24 hours. The sticking point for the representatives… when the 24-hour clock actually starts.
Currently, before she can have an abortion, a woman must wait one hour either (1) from the receipt of written materials at an abortion clinic or (2) from the time she’s had an ultrasound. When it was passed in the ’90s, the waiting period stopped the practice of abortion-on-demand in South Carolina.
James Smith’s amendment slightly altered the language of the bill, but had it passed, it would have dramatically changed the the law’s effect. Planned Parenthood, through Smith, was trying to give abortionists the leeway to basically perform abortion-on-demand by allowing women to say they had either received written materials in the mail… or that they had viewed abortion information on the DHEC website… 24 hours before coming in.
That would have all but negated the “reflection period” bill supporters are pushing to give women time to think about the life of their unborn child before making this life-changing decision.
Last year, lawmakers tried to require that doctors perform an ultrasound prior to an abortion. That effort was watered down, requiring doctors to only offer the ultrasound, but fears of malpractice and the requirement that doctors determine the gestational age of the baby in the mother’s womb have made pre-abortion ultrasounds routine in South Carolina.
So, as it stands now, the clock starts when the ultrasound is performed. As a father who has seen plenty of ultrasounds in my time, I have to agree with the statement that Greenville Rep. Wendy Nanney made during the debate… the statement that should be the rallying cry of this bill…
“Seeing the ultrasound changes you. It makes you think differently.”
H. 3245 now heads to the House for debate… which could become rather contentious… if yesterday’s hearing was any sign.
If you want to stand in support of this bill, please visit our friends at Palmetto Family and sign their online petition in support of this bill.