Senator Brian Townsend has introduced SB5 which would align Delaware’s current (and unconstitutional) abortion law with Roe v Wade. Sen. Margaret Rose Henry, Rep. Debra Heffernan and Rep. Valerie Maglio Longhurst join in as additional Sponsors of this legislation.
The United States Supreme Court’s decisions in Roe v. Wade and subsequent cases established that access to abortion is a constitutional right and that states may not prohibit abortion prior to viability. As a result of these decisions, and the exercise of prosecutorial discretion by the Attorney General, see Del. Op. Att’y Gen. No. 73-030, § III (Apr. 12, 1973), the Delaware Code’s prohibitions against abortion are unconstitutional, and thus unenforceable. 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. 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.
YES VOTES: SENATE: Bushweller, Cloutier, Ennis, Hansen, Henry, McBride, McDowell, Poore, Sokola, Townsend, Walsh. HOUSE: B. Short, Baumbach, Bennett, Bentz, Bolden, Carson, Heffernan, K. Williams, Keeley, Kowalko, Longhurst, Lynn, M. Smith, Matthews, Mitchell, Mulrooney, Osienski, Paradee, Potter, Q. Johnson, Schwartzkopf, Viola
NO VOTES: SENATE: DelCollo, Hocker, Lawson, Lopez, Pettyjohn, Richardson, Simpson [Bonini was absent, Lavelle and Marshall did not vote]. HOUSE: Brady, Briggs King, Collins, D. Short, Dukes, Gray, Hensley, Jaques, Kenton, Miro, Outten, Postles, Ramone, Smyk, Spiegelman, Yearick [Absent: Hudson, J.Johnson, Wilson]
HISTORY: Passed the Senate 11-7-1-2. Passed the House 22-16-3.
STATUS: Waiting to be signed by Governor Carney