South Carolina Lawmakers Send Heartbeat Bill to Governor’s Desk

The South Carolina Legislature gave final approval to its heartbeat bill Tuesday, one that would ban abortions from the time a fetal heartbeat is detected and a move that will continue the trend in the southern states to restrict abortion.

The state senate passed the Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act (S. 474) Tuesday by a vote of 27-19 and sent the measure to the desk of Governor Henry McMaster (R), who said he “look[s] forward to signing this bill into law as soon as possible.”

According to the legislation, abortions are banned in the state once a fetal heartbeat is detected, with exceptions if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest and the gestational age of the unborn baby is not more than 12 weeks. The allegation of rape or incest is reported to the county sheriff no later than 24 hours after the abortion.

“A person who violates this section is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined ten thousand dollars, imprisoned for not more than two years, or both,” the bill states.

Additional exceptions to the bill exist “if an abortion is performed or induced on a pregnant woman due to a medical emergency or is performed to prevent the death of the pregnant woman or to prevent the serious risk of a substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function, not including psychological or emotional conditions, of the pregnant woman,” or “if an abortion is performed or induced on a pregnant woman due to the existence of a fatal fetal anomaly.”

Students for Life Action (SFLAction), the nation’s largest organization of pro-life youth, engaged in South Carolina’s special session that resulted in the approval of the heartbeat legislation.

“Protecting the preborn when a heartbeat is detected is a popular policy position supported by countless Americans,” said SFLAction President Kristan Hawkins. “South Carolina is joining the cohort of southern states that want to see LIFE protected in law and service, clearing their previous reputation of abortion tourism in the South.”

Hawkins added her organization plans to continue its efforts in South Carolina, particularly in the legislative primaries, where she hopes to “expose ‘pro-life’ Republicans that turned their back on the preborn when they needed them.”

“The Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act will go on to save innocent preborn children from the violence of abortion and change the culture of life in the south,” she added, observing that the German-owned Politico is even now reporting that ‘every state south of Virginia and east of New Mexico has now implemented or passed new abortion restrictions’ post-Roe.”

“We’re so grateful for our Students for Life activists who have fought with us and were bold enough to tell legislators to have a backbone when they needed it,” Hawkins said. “Today, we’re successful because of the unwavering grit of the Pro-Life Generation and look forward to seeing this bill become law, declaring that, at the very minimum, babies should be treated – not harmed – just as any person with a beating heart.”

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Susan Berry, PhD, is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Henry McMaster” by Henry McMaster. Background Photo “South Carolina Capitol’ by HaloMasterMind. CC BY-SA 3.0.




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