The Center for Disease Control (CDC) just released their Abortion Surveillance 2015 report revealing that the overall abortion rate nationwide fell by 26% from 2006 through 2015. This translates into 214,216 fewer abortions in 2015 than in 2006.
Among the subgroups listed, females ages 15 to 19 experienced the largest drop at 54%. For South Carolina the rates are 17% and 52% respectively.
The drop in abortion rates did not come easy. During each session of the General Assembly, we spend many long hours debating pro-life bills. The debates have been heated at times. Pro-life bills are fought harder by pro-abortion Democrats than any other legislation bar none. And yes, there are pro-life Democrats whom I appreciate greatly.
With our Republican majority, the General Assembly has passed significant legislation over the last decade that better defines Roe v. Wade within the bounds of current medical knowledge without violating the US Constitution. The press claim that these laws restrict women’s access to an abortion and that the restrictions have caused the drop in the abortion rate.
I believe that these laws protect and broaden the options for mothers and their unborn children. They do not deny a woman’s legal access to an abortion.
Following is a summary of the various laws passed by the General Assembly over the last decade:
- A mother must receive state-directed counseling and information designed to discourage abortion and provide her with options. She must receive the counseling and information at least 24 hours before she can proceed with an abortion.
- A mother age 17 and over must give her written consent before proceeding with an abortion.
- An unmarried mother under age 17 must have the consent of one parent, grandparent or guardian to proceed with an abortion. The consent requirement is waived if the abortion is due to a medical emergency or incest.
- A mother cannot obtain an abortion after 20 weeks has passed since conception. The ban does not apply if the abortion is necessary to protect the mother’s life or her pregnancy is considered “medically futile”.
- Healthcare plans under South Carolina’s Affordable Care Act exchange option and health insurance plans for mothers who are public employees cover abortion only in cases of rape, incest or to protect the mother’s life. Public funding is available only in cases of rape, incest or to protect the mother’s life.
- Telemedicine cannot be used to administer abortion-inducing medications, off label drugs or any other prescribed substances with the intent to terminate a pregnancy.
The good news from the CDC lies not just with the 26% drop but what the drop represents. It represents people. Living breathing individuals who were not aborted but given a chance to live.