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Abortion Waiting Period Bill is Approved by South Carolina House

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According to a recent article in Ms. Magazine, the South Carolina state House passed bill 83 on February 25, requiring women to wait 24 hours after seeing an ultrasound prior to having an abortion.

Supporters of this bill maintain a decision to have an abortion is so important that a waiting period is of the essence. Critics believe a 24 hour waiting period is not only restrictive, but costly for women who live in rural areas, and would have to pay more money for transportation and medical visits.

There were three hours of debate on this bill and just one of the state House's female representatives spoke. State Representative Gilda Cobb-Hunter made reference to a recent debate in the state House to a proposal that would actually improve access to social services for pregnant women who had decided not to have an abortion. Ms. Gilda Cobb-Hunter said the following: "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?"

The Ms. article goes on to say that presently South Carolina requires a one hour waiting period after seeing an ultrasound. The state also has a requirement that women receive brochures concerning fetal development and abortion alternatives before having an abortion procedure.

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