Delaware Abortion Bill Released From House Committee - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware Abortion Bill Released From House Committee

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Legislative Hall Legislative Hall

DOVER, Del. -- (WBOC/AP) A bill aimed at ensuring abortion remains legal in Delaware even if the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the Roe v. Wade case is overturned has been cleared by a committee for a full vote in the state House. 
    
The bill was released with eight votes on Wednesday by Health and Human Development Committee. It is now clear for a vote in the House and has already passed in the Senate.
    
The legislation changes Delaware's existing abortion law, which allows abortions only if the mother's health is at risk, if there is a substantial risk the child would be born with serious and permanent deformities or disabilities, or if pregnancy results from rape or incest.

"It's time to change that to be in course with the law of the land," said Ruth Lytle-Barnaby, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Delaware.

Delaware's current law prohibits abortions beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy and requires parental consent for girls under 18. It also requires a woman to provide written consent and wait 24 hours after receiving a full explanation of the abortion procedure and effects, the facts of fetal development, and an explanation of reasonable alternatives.
    
The legislation removes any restrictions on abortion before a fetus reaches viability but prohibits abortion after viability unless a doctor determines in "good faith," that an abortion is necessary to protect the woman's life or health, or that there is not a reasonable likelihood of the fetus's sustained survival outside the uterus without extraordinary medical measures.
    
Groups like the Delaware Family Policy Council and Delaware Nurses for Life argue abortion doctors would be given too much say in when an abortion can take place.

"We're entrusting this one abortionist and giving him carte blanche to do whatever he wants to do to women and babies," said Bess McAneny with Delaware Nurses for Life.

Some lawmakers expect the bill has enough to pass in the House. It was narrowly approved by the Senate.

Rep. Tim Dukes (R-Laurel) said he'll oppose the legislation regardless of how much support it may have.

"I think this is just a matter of will we protect the most the vulnerable and innocent people in society?" he said.

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