Wednesday, January 28, 2009

SC House to consider abortion bill today

I always imagine that the pro-life activist fantasy must go like so:

Woman sees ultrasound of fully formed infant, waving at her lovingly, maybe even saying HI MOMMY! She shrieks, sobs, and decides not to do it.


Given the option of not viewing the ultrasound, the nurse says: BUT WAIT, see the sweet little baby who is WAVING at you? Finally, the woman breaks, and tearfully peeks at the ultrasound after several hours have passed; seeing that the baby is her spittin image, decides not to do it.

I suppose it has to be one of those.

The Associated Press • January 28, 2009

COLUMBIA — Women seeking an abortion in South Carolina would have to wait at least 24 hours after their ultrasound under a bill being considered by a House subcommittee.

The measure would increase the waiting time from an hour to a day. Lawmakers will consider it today.

Last year, legislators passed a bill requiring that women be given the option of viewing the ultrasound. It set the 60-minute wait before getting the procedure.

The compromise was approved after more than a year of debate over whether to require a woman to view the image before an abortion.

Rep. Greg Delleney had been steadfast on a requirement but settled for the option, as a way to reduce abortions. The Chester Republican is also sponsoring the latest bill


John Powers said...

As an armchair doctor, I'm conservative. Ultra sound has not been shown to cause harm to fetal development, but there are known mechanisms for how ultra sound can cause harm.

I saw a study, which I can't find right now, that pointed out that in Europe correct readings of ultra sound imaging was many times greater than in the USA. Here it's done in the doctor's office, there at clinics with professionals reading them.

The pictures of course have become customary here, even when doctors are notoriously bad at reading the imaging. But even here, because of the known risks associated with the procedure, the official line is they are only indicated when medically necessary.

However the reason that ultra sounds are routinely given prior to abortions is the provider wants to have proof of the fetal age. The law is driving medical practice not medical necessity. It's expensive, unnecessary and wrong.

jovan b. said...

This is a prime example of big government conservatives trying to put their sharia laws on women's bodies. It is sickening. We need to oust Delleney and people like him in 2010. ...BTW, check out my piece about this.

Zan said...

Considering that fetuses look like space aliens on ultrasound for the first few months, the only reaction I'd have to seeing one on screen would be to scream "Get it out!!" :)
Especially if it was WAVING at me!

DaisyDeadhead said...

Cara wrote a great in-depth piece on SC's abortion policy for Feministe! Everybody go read.

sheila said...


Although, as a person who is very pro-choice, myself, I would have to say that I don't think this is a bad idea. Maybe an extra 24 hours to take a breath and think it over is worth it.

judgeprophet said...

It's not a bad idea to TAKE an extra 24's a bad idea to be FORCED BY LAW to take an extra 24 hrs. Women can & do take all the time they deem necessary to decide about and complete their abortion. Women already had the option to see their ultrasound if they wanted, they already had/have the right to wait till the right time if they decide to have an abortion. Some clinics encourage patients to realize that shame is not required or appropriate. Grief is normal, sadness, relief, curiosity, & peace are normal with abortion. It is so insulting to women to treat them as if they don't know what is inside them or how to ask for help if they need it. Women birthed the whole world! Without exception, from the beginning of time. We are smart & able.

Zan said...

You know, if abortions were readily available and women didn't have to travel long distances to get them, I wouldn't be so against the 24 hour cooldown period. I mean, I think it's fundamentally stupid to think a woman doesn't realize what she's doing. But, if clinics were easy access, services were affordable and there were no penalties for taking two days off from work for all women, well it wouldn't be so bad. But that's not the world we live in. As it is, there are only two, maybe three, clinics that do abortions in Louisiana. (Where I live.) They are located in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. So, if a woman in Alexandria wants an abortion, she has to drive between 2-4 hours to get to the clinic. So, that's one day off work. Then, if she has to wait 24 hours, that's another day off work, plus money for a hotel to say overnight. Then, depending on how the procedure goes, she may be advised to rest the next day. If she takes that advice, that's three days off work. Now, I work for the state, so I could take that much time off. However, I'd have to bring back a doctor's note indicating WHY I needed that much time off. In super conservative Louisiana, not many women would be willing to bring in a note saying they were absent because they were having an abortion. Because even though it's a perfectly legal procedure and, frankly, no one else's business, it would surprise no one if having an abortion were used as a reason to fire someone. (And since La. is a right to work state, the employer wouldn't even have to tell you why you were fired.)

Now, if that wasn't the case, if someone in Alexandria could pop out for an hour or two to see the doctor one day and a few hours the next, well. . .that's different. It's still fundamentally stupid and insulting, but at least it wouldn't lead to so much time off work. But still...

Mista Jaycee said...

No one knows the fustration of dealing with an unwanted pregnancy like the person who's going through it and all the bs mindtrips that get played on you. No one smiles at the clinic. It's scary and everyone looks lost and alone. People should stay out of others lives. Here's to this bills sound defeat!

JoJo said...

Why would you get an ultrasound if you are considering having an abortion? I mean, if I'd ever gotten pregnant, I would have been screaming, "GET IT OUT OF ME!!!" as I ran to the nearest clinic I could find.

Marion said...

I'm with JoJo...if I had decided to have an abortion...why would I have an ultrasound?

I've actually never heard of people having ultrasounds before abortion, here in Canada, at least.

Perhaps this has changed, since I was young(er)!

DaisyDeadhead said...

Marion and Jojo, the idea is that once the women are forced to look at the ultrasound and/or wait 24 hrs, they will not have an abortion and will change their minds. Hence, my joke(s), which I guess didn't make any sense!

It's being forced on them by law, not a choice of theirs.

Anonymous said...

Ultrasound accurately dates a pregnancy, so no suprises for the physcian, hence a safer procedure.
When a woman finds out she's pregnant she thinks about it 24/7. If she decideds to have an abortion and makes an appointment, she thinks about that 24/7. To force her to wait another 24 hours after she arrives for her appointment and has an ultrasound, is stupid and patronizing.

Zan said...

Ultrasound is for the doctors to determine how far along a pregnancy is. Helps them decide best procedures, etc. It's quite a useful tool, but certainly not something a woman should be forced to look at. And really, have these people seen an early pregnancy ultrasound? It's just a blur of lines and static if you're not trained to read them. I can't imagine them changing anyone's mind. In fact, it woudl probably make me MORE likely to have an abortion because it looks so unlike a human being.