Last week, the S.C. House of Representatives gave overwhelming support (91-23; second reading) to a bill that would force women seeking an abortion to view an ultrasound image of the fetus in question and sign a statement attesting to said viewing.
Sigh. Not again.
While having access to a lawful and safe pregnancy termination procedure has never been a walk in the park here in the Palmetto State, the ultrasound viewing would add yet another item on the laundry list of state-mandated requirements for a woman already in the position of having to make an agonizing decision.
Under the state's informed-consent law, women who choose to legally end an unwanted pregnancy are already required to be told about fetal development and offered alternatives to an abortion. The law also requires that a woman seeking an abortion sit on the information offered to her for at least one hour before undergoing the procedure.
Basically, the law says that since the girl was dumb and slutty enough to get knocked up in the first place, then she's too stupid to make up her own mind about the next step.
Six other states offer the images to women seeking abortions, but South Carolina would be the first state to mandate the ultrasound viewing.
The bill is sponsored by Rep. Greg Delleney (R-Chester) who told the House membership, "Many pro-life groups contacted people around the state and people were praying about this. Hundreds, if not thousands, were praying for it."
Delleney thinks his bill is simply a natural segue to the informed-consent law, and I suspect he's watching the goings-on in the Mississippi state legislature where other progressives want to add a requirement that the woman in question be offered an opportunity to listen to the fetal heartbeat before undergoing the termination procedure.
Now there's a bonus for an already vulnerable girl.
Opponents of Delleney denounced his proposed legislation and constantly referred to it as "emotional blackmail."
Rep. Todd Rutherford (D-Richland) tried to attach an exemption for victims of rape and/or incest but was defeated by House conservatives, "You all are doing it to her once again!"
This started a brief verbal scrap when Rep. Bob Leach (R-Greenville) accused Rutherford of grandstanding, "I'll be nominating you for actor of the year."
Now I expect this kind of crap out of the Bible-thumpers who manage to get themselves elected to the General Assembly at an alarming success rate.
What I didn't expect was Gov. Mark Sanford (R, but he's really a Libertarian) to chime in on proposed legislation that was conceived outside of his womb, so to speak.
In a statement, Sanford said, "It's incredibly important for a woman to have the maximum amount of information possible before making that decision. This new ultrasound requirement is an important one that I think has the potential to lessen the number of abortions carried out in South Carolina."
It's official! Marky-Mark and The Ice Queen Jenny have slurped up all the right-wing, social conservative Kool-Aid in a craven ploy to march into the vice presidency.
I'm getting really tired of these blatant attempts by conservative wingnuts to manipulate already emotionally at-risk women into making "their" choice for her pregnancy.
We all have a keen interest in keeping the government's laws off our bodies.
Conservatives like Delleney get their footing with things like Roe v. Wade. Then they move to such things as Lawrence v. Texas and after that, howzabout we make a return to the days of Plessy v. Ferguson.
I don't like abortion any more than the next person, but it's not up to me to make that decision for somebody else.
Liberty and freedom aren't always the same thing.