During the debate on one of Governor Sanford’s veto, Sen. Lee Bright made a unanimous consent request to take up H. 3254, the 24 hour waiting period requirement for an abortion. Unanimous consent requests are routinely used to get around the Senate rules and one member objecting defeats the request. At the time, there was a lot of commotion, so no-one objected. After a contentious challenge to the Lt. Governor Andre’ Bauer, a motion was made to carry over the bill. We were told that for the “decorum” of the Senate, Sen. Bright slipped a trick, therefore, we should carry over the bill.
Now I understand Senate decorum but disagree with the notion that Sen. Bright had any intention to deceive the body. Senate members pull procedural tricks out of their hat all the time to get to items on their agenda. However, even if Sen. Bright did violate decorum, how can I place a higher priority over decorum than the sanctity of life? Unfortunately, many members that claim to be pro-life, chose to stand firm on a false accusation and voted to carry over the 24 hour bill. Being the last day of session, H. 3254 would only have received 2nd reading, so the bill would not have passed this year anyway, but it is still a disappointment.
Also, disappointing is the press coverage of giving Sen. Bright credit for the “death blow” of the 24-hour bill. Sen. Bright is to be commended for getting a vote on perhaps the most important issue of our time. Lee and I spoke with the State Newspaper, and they are considering changing the wording of the first paragraph. We appreciate their consideration.
The abortion issue is dead in the 2009 General Assembly, its death blow coming at the hands of the state senator who days ago told the Senate that issue is the only reason he is an elected official.
Sen. Lee Bright, R-Spartanburg, again threw the Senate in a lurch Thursday, when he asked for the Senate’s consent to leave the day’s main business – dispatching of Gov. Mark Sanford’s vetoes – to resume consideration of a House-passed bill that requires a woman to wait 24 hours after an ultrasound is performed before proceeding with an abortion…