Posted by: Dave Wilson | February 4, 2009

’24’ Clears Judiciary

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.



Rep. James Smith

Rep. James Smith

Rep. Greg Delleney

Rep. Greg Delleney

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. 

Rep. Wendy Nanney

Rep. Wendy Nanney

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.



  1. Thanks God someone had the guts to do this. Just think of how many babies lives we will save just by asking that the mother take just one day to think it over, and not spend the rest of her life wishing she had never had an abortion.

  2. Thank you so much

  3. Thank you for taking a stand on such an important issue! We need more lawmakers in Columbia taking a stand for what’s right! Thank you so much.

  4. Thank you for standing up for this important issue! In 24 hours time, many women will have the chance to change their mind on something that will affect them for the rest of their life!

  5. Thank you for taking a stand Let us know how we can pray for you. Tell us when and how to pray for legislation being brought to the floor Thanks for having a place we can stay informed

  6. […] Note: At ONE HOUR, South Carolina’s reflection period is the shortest in the country among states with waiting periods. TWENTY FOUR hours is the national standard. Oran P. Smith President & CEO Palmetto Family Council Columbia, SC For more about this issue, see ‘24’ Clears Judiciary. […]

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