DOVER, Del. — Lawmakers in Delaware have passed a bill that would ensure that abortion remains legal in the state should the U.S. Supreme Court ever overturn Roe v. Wade.
The House passed Senate Bill 5 on Tuesday, which amended current law that made it illegal for abortions to be performed except in the cases of rape, incest and the life of the mother. The law had been considered unenforceable following the 1973 ruling of Roe v. Wade.
“This Act modernizes Delaware’s laws on abortion to be consistent with the scope of the right protected by the United States Constitution and the practice in Delaware for the past 43 years,” a synopsis of the bill explains. “In doing so, this Act permits the termination of a pregnancy prior to viability, to protect the life or health of the mother, or in the event of serious fetal anomaly.”
The measure had been hotly debated in the legislature, with some lawmakers asserting that they support a mother’s “right to choose” despite their feelings on the issue, and others stating that abortion is murder and therefore is not a lawful choice.
“This legislation ensures that physicians have the ability to provide the care that’s compassionate [and] medically appropriate under the circumstance,” remarked Rep. Deb Heffernan, D-Bellefonte.
“The fact of the matter is that this bill represents a license to murder. Period. No questions about it,” said Rep. Joe Miro, R-Pike Creek Valley.
Pro-life groups also rallied against the legislation, including the Delaware Family Policy Council, which had invited abortion survivor Melissa Ohden to speak.
Ohden’s teenage mother had obtained a saline abortion as a way to undo her unplanned pregnancy. An assistant to the abortionist heard Ohden crying in the medical waste container where she had been discarded following the procedure.
“What I know is that when I was born alive—certainly it was very shocking, right? This is not supposed to happen. Demands were made to leave me to die in that hospital room,” Ohden shared at the rally. “No one’s life should hang in that balance.”
“You would never know by looking at me that I should’ve been poisoned to death in the womb, but when I first survived, the doctors didn’t think I would live for very long—yet I’m standing here today perfectly healthy,” she declared.
Senate Bill 5 now heads to the desk of Gov. John Carney, who is expected to sign the legislation.
“We will exert the same pressure upon Governor Carney, a Catholic, to uphold the sanctity of life for those innocent unborn children whose lives depend upon his vetoing this radical bill,” Delaware Right to Life spokeswoman Moira Sheridan told Reuters.
As previously reported, the 1973 ruling of Roe v. Wade centered on a Texas woman named Norma McCorvey who sought an abortion over an alleged rape. McCorvey later admitted that she had lied, writing in her book “I Am Roe” that she made up the rape story at the advice of her feminist attorneys to make her case more convincing.
She also never obtained an abortion, but placed her child up for adoption and went on to become a vocal pro-life advocate, even going to court in an effort to overturn the ruling.
“My decisions were wrong and I am fighting with every breath to change what has occurred,” McCorvey said in 2008.
She died in February at an assisted living facility.