Delaware groups come together as a bill to expand abortion access gets its first hearing

DOVER, Del.- Wednesday morning, in Dover, groups made their voices heard as they are on a mission to expand abortion access in the First State.

“I actually feel in our state we are really fortunate because we have Roe codified,” Melissa Froemming, President of Delaware NOW, said. “Our legislators are really forward thinking in 2017 when they codified roe, so regardless of what happened nationally Delawareans are protected.”

Organizers like Melissa Froemming went to legislative hall pushing for House Bill 455 to be heard. It would expand access of reproductive health services, including abortions. And provide protections for those providing or seeking them.

“We have been a bit complacent this session, but we have time now to pass this law so we are able to both protect those in state and those in our state that are seeking abortions, but also address the problem of capacity,” Froemming said. ” We have a severe shortage of providers for productive healthcare in the state of Delaware.”

“I think what binds every piece of the bill is that focus on ensuring that access under our state law will not be a bridge in any way, especially in light of unprecedented circumstances,” Sen. Kyle Evans said.

Nick Beard is another Delawarean who showed up to express concerns. Beard said with talks of Roe V. Wade expected to be overturned by the Supreme Court it’s crucial lawmakers expand abortion access.

“I think it’s really important that they hear I am their constituent, I’m a Delawarean born and bread and this is something that I feel is really important to Delaware,” Beard said. “So, I really hope they listen to me and all the other Delawareans that are here to make are voices heard.”

“If women don’t have control over our own bodies, then we can’t be equal citizens,” Beard said. “So, as a woman and as mom this is an incredibly important issue to me.”

While some are fighting for the bill, not all lawmakers are on board. During a committee hearing, lawmakers had some questions. One being, how old does a minor have to be in order to consent to an abortion? This was a question which seemed to cause conflicting answers.

“I feel sorry for people that support this kind of legislation, I really do,” Rep. Richard Collins said. “I don’t understand the code that says one thing in one place and we are told in another place it says something completely different. It makes no sense, but it does kind of lead to what I say and that is and I know this is going to be offensive, but I’ve had discussion with our own attorneys about this and he agrees that attorneys can make anything legal, but anyways there’s some serious problems here with this language.”

Now, this is the first hearing that has taken place for the bill, and the clock is ticking for lawmakers to make a decision with the legislative session coming to a close at the end of June.

Categories: Delaware, Local News