Bill would ban abortions after 19 weeks

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COLUMBIA — Abortion opponents hope a proposed law banning the procedure in South Carolina beyond the 19th week of pregnancy ends up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The legislation, co-sponsored by 34 Republicans, asserts that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks old. Doctors who disregard the ban could be charged with a felony.

Rep. Wendy Nanney, the main sponsor, said as a mother of five children, she wants to protect children from pain.

“That’s what a mother does,” said Nanney, R-Greenville. Asked whether a mother should decide based on her situation, she added, “I think the child is the most important thing, and the fact it feels pain is very important to me.”

Doctors with the South Carolina chapter of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said the bill’s supporters are looking only at studies that support their conclusion, while other reviews have found a fetus does not feel pain before 24 weeks. The doctors point to lethal or serious fetal problems that often aren’t diagnosed before 20 weeks.

“Once the diagnosis is confirmed, many couples need additional time to make a well-informed and careful decision,” reads the joint statement signed by three doctors.

The proposed ban provides an exception only when the mother’s life is in danger, and in such a case, the doctor must end the pregnancy in a way that gives the fetus the best chance for survival. Asked why she made no exception for rape or incest victims, Nanney said those pregnancies are normally aborted before 20 weeks.

A House panel postponed a vote Thursday on the measure. It expects to resume discussion later this month.

Victoria Middleton with the American Civil Liberties Union calls the bill an unconstitutional political interference in a woman’s private medical decision. Such late-term abortions are rare and generally occur in wanted pregnancies that go horribly wrong, she said.

“It’s callous to impose one rule on every woman regardless of circumstances,” Middleton said. “This bill is wrong, not just because it is unconstitutional, but because it puts politics above a woman’s health.”

Sloane Whelan, spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood Health Systems, said its South Carolina clinics don’t provide abortions beyond 19 weeks, so the bill would affect women who have the procedure done at a hospital, often “under heartbreaking and tragic circumstances.”

According to the Department of Health and Environmental Control, 25 abortions were performed in South Carolina at 20 or more weeks gestation in 2012, the latest data available. Between 2008 and 2012, the annual number ranges from 11 to 37.

While Middleton contends the bill would go against decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court, anti-abortion activists say they believe the nation’s highest court would rule in the state’s favor. They argue the bill is not about a fetus’ viability, but rather whether states can protect the unborn from pain.

“We would welcome a challenge,” said Mary Spaulding Balch, state legislative director with the National Right to Life Committee.

Ten states already have enacted 20-week abortion bans: Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Texas. Laws in three other states – Arizona, Georgia, and Idaho – have not been enacted, pending the outcome of lawsuits, according to Planned Parenthood Health Systems.

Abortion foes believe South Carolina’s proposal would stand a better chance of getting heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The bill’s supporters include the Catholic Diocese of Charleston, which covers the entire state. The Most Rev. Bishop Guglielmone asked legislators to quickly pass “this important and life-saving legislation.”

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itsanotherday1
43813
Points
itsanotherday1 02/07/14 - 01:48 am
2
0
I admit to being a fence

I admit to being a fence rider on this subject; wanting to respect the rights of women while protecting the unborn. What they have done here though is provide a compromise dividing line that reasonable people can agree on.
The real debate is when is a fertilized egg a person. Dr. Dean Edell once said that he believed a good guideline would be that when a fetus can survive outside of the womb, abortion would be improper. I agree it is a good starting point to debate from.
This legislation would respect that guideline and I support it 100%.

myfather15
55725
Points
myfather15 02/07/14 - 06:56 am
3
1
Yes, this seems to be a good

Yes, this seems to be a good compromise!! But you watch, planned parenthood and those unfettered abortion supporters will fight this tooth and nail!! NO compromise is satifactory for them!! The left is like this in ALL their arguments!! They blast the right for not compromising, but then NEVER compromise themselves!!

corgimom
33198
Points
corgimom 02/07/14 - 07:42 am
2
3
Abortion is between a woman

Abortion is between a woman and her doctor, not the government. And there is no compromising on that.

corgimom
33198
Points
corgimom 02/07/14 - 07:43 am
2
2
And it won't stop anything,

And it won't stop anything, all a woman has to do is say "I'll kill myself if I have to have this baby" and that would make her eligible for an abortion after 19 weeks.

stuaby
4069
Points
stuaby 02/07/14 - 09:20 am
3
2
@corgimom

"Abortion is between a woman and her doctor..."

Who are your gods, that have told you this?

GiantsAllDay
9697
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GiantsAllDay 02/07/14 - 09:35 am
1
3
Perhaps Wendy Nannery should

Perhaps Wendy Nannery should volunteer to have the fetus of one of these babies transplanted into her womb. Or she should adopt a crack baby. Then I would respect her words. The great prophet of our day, George Carlin, said it best.
http://youtu.be/ScWDC0dZ-NQ

corgimom
33198
Points
corgimom 02/07/14 - 12:48 pm
2
3
stuaby, perhaps you should be

stuaby, perhaps you should be aware that Jesus was Jewish- and under Jewish law, abortion is legal until "quickening", which is usually about 4 1/2 months.

And when this country was formed, abortion was legal. The first abortion law was passed in New York State in 1828.

But stuaby, my religious beliefs are not your concern in the slightest.

stuaby
4069
Points
stuaby 02/07/14 - 02:38 pm
2
2
Why did you respond this way?

Why did you respond this way? Have you been instructed not to speak of them?

Would it not be better to reveal; and enlighten the reader?

myfather15
55725
Points
myfather15 02/07/14 - 03:05 pm
3
1
Corgimom

"But stuaby, my religious beliefs are not your concern in the slightest."

I'll remember this, next time you come after me with false allegations that I've "Claimed" to be the best Christian!! I'll just refer you back to your own statement!!

myfather15
55725
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myfather15 02/07/14 - 03:15 pm
2
1
GAD

"Or she should adopt a crack baby. Then I would respect her words."

So, you believe we should be aborting any "Crack baby"? Heck, maybe we should just start aborting all babies that might be born with mental illnesses, deformities, etc. Since one of the definitions of abort is " to end something prematurely: to bring something to an end or come to an end at an early stage".

Why stop after their born?? If a child is born with serious illnesses, or mental disabilities, why not "abort" them after birth? What's the age we should stop aborting them? When MAN is in charge of right and wrong, there is no specific moral limit, so why don't we extend abortions? With no god, we only have MAN who decides right and wrong!! So why don't we just let people kill their mentally challenged children? I mean, they aren't grown yet; they haven't developed maturity yet; so why not? If man set's our moral standard, only man can create the limits!! So it's up to us!! Why not?

GodisSoGood
910
Points
GodisSoGood 02/07/14 - 05:15 pm
3
1
Newborn

A newborn baby can survive outside of the womb, but not without human intervention. A newborn is totally dependent upon others for food, shelter, and protection. To use the argument that a baby can't survive outside the womb as a grounds for abortion is ludicrous at best.

corgimom...I predict that you will eat your words sooner than later. How quickly you are to throw stones when others express their beliefs.

And to say that an abortion is between a woman and her doctor...that just leaves me shaking my head.

stuaby
4069
Points
stuaby 02/07/14 - 05:33 pm
2
1
@Corgimom

Where are you? Do you have an answer to the question?

KSL
131325
Points
KSL 02/08/14 - 12:23 am
1
1
Now, please let me explain. I

Now, please let me explain. I think that when I found our mr first child may have be slated to bad birth defects and my OB did bring up abortion. Now this was before Roe v Wade. He also educated me on his experience with my circumstances.

My point here was that aminio was not avaliable, or at least to me with my insurance. Yep, was a healthy young female who had insurance.

My problem with the Georgia law is the time frame of the limitations.

If this thing passes, a female will have the safe weeks between week 15 to week 18 to get that amnio. The abortion must be performed before week 20.

Now we are already discussing delays in getting an appointment under obamacare.

How easy would it become to ruin peoples lives, the parents', siblings' and the child's because of a couple of weeks one way or another. This whole proposal sounds like an attempt to take away a right that I had before Roe v Wade.

KSL
131325
Points
KSL 02/08/14 - 12:41 am
1
1
Stauby, in the late 60's the

Stauby, in the late 60's the decision in my circumstance WAS between me and my doctor. My husband was not ever involved. That may have been because I, by myself, made the decusion not to abort.

Hmmmmm, I guess I also had the right to decide to bring a medically challenged child and alter my husband's life forever, and those of future children.

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