This entry is cross-posted with Choice Words, the blog of ChoiceUSA.
A prefiled bill in the South Carolina House would require women seeking an abortion to first be given a "list of clinics and other facilities that provide free ultrasounds," most of which are anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers.
According to an article from The State, S.C. state Representative Gary Simrill and six others are proposing this bill to expand on this past year's law requiring women to be offered an ultrasound before being legally allowed to terminate a pregnancy, adding yet another delay tactic to the already difficult process of obtaining an abortion in the state. Supporters say they want women to "explore all options" before seeking an abortion.
Never mind the overly paternalistic nature of this bill, and the fact that a woman seeking an abortion has probably already explored "all options." This bill could pose an even greater threat to choice than simply creating one more legal blockade to access. In a time where women struggle to obtain decent health insurance, more women will opt for an agency that offers free ultrasounds to fulfill this requirement. The majority of places that are financially able to offer free ultrasounds are in fact CPCs, and a woman opting for a more affordable option is likely to end up inside an anti-choice center that will do everything in its power to dissuade her from making an informed choice.
CPCs utilize emotional manipulation, medically false or deceptive information, and intimidation to sway women away from having an abortion. They promise assistance throughout the pregnancy and after birth, but in truth very few give any real assistance to women who have been persuaded to carry to term. This bill in South Carolina, if passed, would further block women from making informed choices in what is already one of the hardest states to obtain comprehensive reproductive healthcare in the country.