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SC Senators Drop Mandatory Ultrasound Provision

A South Carolina State Senate subcommittee dropped a provision last Thursday on an abortion bill that would have required women to view an ultrasound image before having an abortion. South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster warned lawmakers last week that forcing women to view an ultrasound against her will would be illegal. While some states have mandated that ultrasound viewing be available, South Carolina would be the only state mandating it if this bill passed with an ultrasound requirement. Democrats anticipate that the bill, which now heads to the Senate Medical Affairs Committee, will easily pass the Senate. A clash is expected, however, because the State Assembly has already approved the bill with the requirement.

Senate President Glenn McConnell (R-Charleston) said that he opposed the mandatory ultrasound provision but would approve a bill that would make viewing optional, reports the Wilmington Morning Star.

Opponents of the ultrasound requirement see it as a method of unnecessary intimidation for women who are considering abortion. “Planned Parenthood’s top priorities are the health and safety of our patients. A bill like this has nothing to do with health care. Any decisions about women’s health should be made by women and doctors not politicians,” said Melissa L. Fink, communications director for Planned Parenthood of Central and Northern Arizona.

Sources:

MSNBC 4/12/07; The Washington Post 4/12/07; The Phoenix Business Journal 4/12/07; Wilmington Star 4/13/07

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