At left: South Carolina state Senator Mike Fair, often to blame for these kinds of things.
Below, more on South Carolina's forced-ultrasound bill. (I first blogged on this here, and Cara of Feministe commented further here.)
Greenville Sen. Mike Fair predicts House ultrasound bill will pass SC Senate
February 4, 2009
COLUMBIA -- A Greenville senator who chaired a committee last year that forged a compromise on the issue of ultrasound and abortion said Wednesday he believes the newest tweaking of the law by the House will pass the Senate.
Sen. Mike Fair's comments came a day after the House Judiciary Committee passed and sent to the floor a bill that would require women seeking an abortion wait for 24 hours after getting an ultrasound test before undergoing the procedure.
About half the states have 24-hour waiting rules, legislators say, but South Carolina would become the first to time it starting with an ultrasound.
Critics say the legislation is an attempt to intimidate women seeking an abortion and that it would require two trips to a facility, something that will especially pose a burden for poor women from rural communities. Supporters say that the waiting period, even if it requires two visits, is warranted because of the serious nature of the decision.
"It's a reasonable thing to do to require 24 hours," Fair said. "I choose to believe we could pass that."
Fair said the 24-hour wait is something both he and Sen. Kevin Bryant of Anderson, another senator negotiating the issue last year, favored but that the political environment at the time would not support it. Also on the committee negotiating last year was Sen. Linda Short, a Chester County Democrat who did not run for re-election. The Senate currently has no female members.
The compromise last year requires women to wait an hour after an ultrasound before proceeding with an abortion. The intial legislation required that women seeking an abortion be shown the ultrasound image, even rape and incest victims. The resulting law requires women be told they have the option of viewing the ultrasound.
The 24-hour bill is expected to be debated on the floor of the House next week.