Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Update on SC Ultrasound Bill

After the passage in the SC House of H3355, the bill requiring abortionists to review the ultrasound of the baby with the mother before an abortion, the state Senate amended it to make it almost meaningless.

Holly Gatling from SC Citizens for Life reports that State Senator David Thomas, R-Greenville, has proposed a compromise amendment to make the bill meaningful once again. According to Gatling, the amendment "would require abortionists to review and explain the ultrasound image to women before an abortion, but it would not require her to look at it."

1. The Thomas Amendment drops the House mandate on abortionists to perform ultrasound examinations before 14 weeks of pregnancy. (State regulations already require ultrasound at 14 weeks and recommend it at 12 weeks). The three licensed abortion facilities in South Carolina already do ultrasound as part of the abortion procedure so there is no need to require it by law.

2. If the abortionist performs an ultrasound, the Thomas Amendment keeps the duty on the abortionist to review the ultrasound information with the woman one hour before the abortion. Full disclosure by the abortion doctor is an essential element of informed consent if the pregnant woman is to make this decision intelligently.

3. The Thomas Amendment explicitly clarifies that the woman does not have to look at the ultrasound against her will. Neither the abortionist nor the woman can be penalized if the pregnant woman declines to look at the ultrasound. Although this is implied in both the House and Senate bills, it is not stated explicitly in either.

Please pray for the passage of the Thomas Amendment today. If you live in South Carolina, please contact your state senator today also.

To contact your State Senator go to http://www.scstatehouse.net/html-pages/senatemembers.html. To find out who your legislators are, visit http://www.scstatehouse.net/cgi-bin/zipcodesearch.exe.

Many thanks to Holly Gatling for her tireless work in Columbia.

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