South Carolina Bill Requires Women See Ultrasound Before Abortion

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:06 PM EDT

( - South Carolina's state House will consider a bill this week requiring a mother planning to undergo an abortion to view an ultrasound of her unborn baby beforehand.

Republican state Rep. Greg Delleney, the main sponsor of the amendment, said he's "trying to save lives and protect people from regret." The bill will also "inform women with the most accurate non-judgmental information," Delleney was quoted as saying, according to WLTX-TV.

"Every day, we minister to women who first saw how well-developed their unborn child was only after that child was killed," said Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life and chairman of Rachel's Vineyard, a post-abortion healing ministry.

"They spend the rest of their lives in deep regret over that uninformed choice," Pavone said in a statement. "This legislation will spare many women that kind of suffering, not to mention that it will save many lives."

If passed, the bill would be the first of its kind in the nation. As required by law, the state's three abortion clinics already perform ultrasounds to determine the unborn baby's age prior to the abortion.

Opponents of the bill described it as akin to "emotional blackmail."

Democratic state Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter said the measure will place "an undue burden on our healthcare providers and on folk who are providing those services."

"The supporters of this legislation seem to believe that women enter into this decision blindly or without a lot of thought," Cobb-Hunter was quoted as saying, according to WLTX-TV.

Once the bill clears the state's House and Senate - both Republican-controlled - it goes onto Republican Gov. Mark Sanford, who is expected to sign it.

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