A new pro-life bill that would ban most abortions in the state of South Carolina once a baby’s heartbeat is detected passed in the state’s House Chamber on Wednesday.
According to CBN News, almost all of the state’s Democratic lawmakers walked out of the house chamber in protest as Republicans voted to pass the measure titled “South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act”.
Under the new law, doctors would be required to perform an ultrasound to determine if the fetus has a heartbeat before performing an abortion. While most abortions would be prohibited, certain exemptions would be allowed if the mother’s life was in danger or if the cause of pregnancy was from rape or incest.
According to CBN News, Republican Gov. Henry McMaster, who is expected to sign the bill into law immediately, praised the measure as “one of the most pro-life bills, most pro-life we've had here. One of the most pro-life in the country."
Reportedly, several Democrats returned to the house chamber to speak out against the measure after holding news conferences opposing the bill.
“You love the fetus in the womb. But when it is born, it's a different reaction," argued State Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter of Orangeburg, the longest-serving member at the state house for 29 years.
Meanwhile, GOP State Rep. Melissa Lackey Oremus noted that many women have mixed feelings when they are pregnant, especially when they are not at the place they want to be in their lives. Nevertheless, she contended that that does not mean an abortion should be conducted.
"They don't deserve to die just because their mother made a bad choice one night," she said.
Similar legislation had been passed in the South Carolina House in previous sessions, which currently has 81 Republicans and 43 Democrats.
But for years, the South Carolina Senate would not pass the bill. Following the 2020 elections, Republicans gained 3 new seats, giving them a 30-16 majority and managed to make the bill Senate Bill No.1.
While the bill would not penalize a pregnant woman for getting an illegal abortion, people performing it could be charged with a felony. If found guilty, the person would be fined $10,000 as well face imprisonment for up to two years.
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Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.