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South Carolina House Approves Abortion Waiting Period Bill

The South Carolina state House passed a bill 83 to 23 yesterday that would require women to wait for 24 hours after viewing an ultrasound prior to having an abortion. Supporters have argued that such a monumental decision as having an abortion requires a waiting period while critics have cited the fact that a 24 hour waiting period is restrictive and potentially costly to women who live in rural areas and who would have to pay extra for transportation and medical visits.

According to the Associated Press, there was three hours of debate on the bill, in which only one of the body’s female representatives spoke. State Representative Gilda Cobb-Hunter referenced a recent defeat in the state House of a proposal that would improve access to social services for pregnant women who had decided against abortion when she said “We love the fetus, but there’s very little outpouring of love when that child is born… For some of us, this appears to be a very slippery slope that we started two years ago. For some of us, it begs the question: How far will we go?”

Currently, South Carolina requires a one hour waiting period after viewing an ultrasound. The state also requires women to receive brochures about fetal development and abortion alternatives prior to undergoing abortion procedures.

Sources:

Feministe, 01/29/09; NBC WIS 10 01/28/09; Feminist Daily Newswire 1/30/09; Associated Press 2/24/09

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