If Roe v. Wade is ever overturned the abortion industry will still be protected in Delaware.
DOVER, Del. – Lawmakers in Delaware have passed a bill to keep abortion legal in their state in the event that Roe v. Wade gets overturned.
Delaware’s House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday by a vote of 22–16, which removes almost all restrictions on abortion from state laws. The Senate approved the measure last month by one vote, and the bill now heads to the desk of Gov. John Carney, who said he’ll sign the bill into law.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, who chaired the Trump campaign’s pro-life coalition and its Catholic advisory board, concluded, “Planned Parenthood and the ACLU are using Delaware as a testing ground for their extreme legislation to ensure abortionists can carry out abortions without limit – even on healthy children hours from birth.”
Delaware’s current state law, which is mostly superseded by federal law and court decisions, allows abortion only in the following cases:
When the mother’s health is at risk
When the child may have serious disabilities
When the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest
The current law places the following restrictions on abortions:
All pregnancies beyond 20 weeks
Requires parental consent for girls under 18
Requires a woman to give written consent
Imposes a 24-hour-waiting period after receiving an explanation of the procedure
Requires facts be given to the mother of her baby’s development, as well as abortion alternatives
Tuesday’s bill removes all of these restrictions and allows all abortions up until the baby reaches viability. The bill further gives abortionists the right to determine when the baby is viable and if an abortion is necessary to protect the life or health of the mother.
Opponents of the bill have argued that abortion providers, who profit from the procedure and are therefore not disinterested parties, should not be allowed to determine when a baby is viable.
Critics of the bill say this last provision opens the way to late-term abortions. The Susan B. Anthony List and other pro-life groups maintain this bill would in practice make abortion legal throughout all nine months of pregnancy.
A heated debate broke out in the state House chamber before the vote Tuesday, when Rep. Timothy Dukes tried unsuccessfully to introduce an amendment to the bill prohibiting abortions after 20 weeks. He described the gruesome procedure of late-term abortions, called “dilation and evacuation,” which rips the live baby apart in the womb limb from limb.
Democratic Rep. Sean Lynn retorted, “The methodology of the actual medical procedure is not germane to the bill.”
Pro-life supporters in the gallery cried out, “Yes it is!” They were silenced by the loud gavel and sharp rebuke from House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf, who threatened to clear the chamber.
Similar attempts to safeguard abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court ever overturns Roe v. Wade were unsuccessful in Connecticut, New Mexico and Rhode Island. Illinois’s General Assemby did pass such a measure in May, but Gov. Bruce Rauner intends to veto the bill.
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