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News of the Day ... In Perspective

3/30/2007

South Carolina House approves requirement for pre-abortion ultrasound

By a vote of 91 to 23, the South Carolina state House approved a measure that would require women contemplating an abortion to first see the ultrasound pictures of her unborn child. An amendment exempting women who conceived through rape or incest was defeated.

If approved by the Senate, this would be the first such law in the nation. Gov. Mark Sanford has endorsed the bill and said he would sign it if it gets to his desk.

South Carolina Citizens for Life director Holly Gatling told lawmakers that the bill “strengthens a woman’s right to know the probable age and size of her unborn child before an abortion” (LifeNews.com 3/21/07). The bill’s chief sponsor, Rep. Greg Delleney, considers it a natural addition to the state’s informed-consent law, which passed in 1994 (Associated Press 3/21/07).

Opponents called the measure “emotional blackmail” (Arizona Daily Star 3/22/07).

South Carolina’s three abortion clinics already perform ultrasound to determine fetal age. But the standard abortion clinic policy is to keep the patient from seeing the images under any circumstance. New 4-D technology allows more lifelike images to be seen in real time, showing motion.

Crisis pregnancy centers report that 87 percent of women who undergo counseling and see the images say that they intend to carry their baby to term (Whistleblower, February 2007).

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