A South Carolina House committee is currently reviewing the South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act, which has already passed through the Senate with a 30-13 vote and which Governor Henry McMaster has previously said he would sign. The bill would “require testing for a detectable fetal heartbeat before an abortion is performed on a pregnant woman.” If a heartbeat is detected, which is possible as early as six weeks, a doctor would only be able to perform the abortion procedure if it is a case of rape or incest, or if the mother’s life is at risk due to the pregnancy.
The Right supports the bill. Students for Life President Kristan Hawkins called it “great news.” Sen. Larry Grooms (R-SC), a sponsor of the “Heartbeat Bill, argued “Life is the most precious right we have. Government’s primary duty is to protect the fundamental right to life. Without life, no other rights really matter.” “If this gets upheld by the courts, we will have saved thousands of lives in South Carolina every year. That is a tremendous victory,” stated Republican state Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey.
“If we’re using the heartbeat as the scientific test for when our life ends, I think it only makes good common sense that we use it for determining when our life begins. As a mother, as a woman and as a leader in South Carolina, I think it’s important that I stand up to show my support.”Lt. Governor Pamela Evette
“No symbol of life is stronger than a beating heart, and the Heartbeat Bill ensures that when a baby’s heart is beating, the government will not sanction that life to be taken,” stated Danny Verdin, Chairman of the Senate Medical Affairs Committee.
The Left opposes the bill. The Womens Rights and Empowerment Network, a womens’ rights group in South Carolina, tweeted, “Rhetoric is just that, rhetoric. This abortion ban is directly aimed at the most marginalized people in South Carolina. We know that any limitation on reproductive rights will NEGATIVELY impact Black and Brown womxn in this state.” Sen. Mia McLeod (D-SC) argued that the bill takes “away [womens’] rights, our liberties, our freedoms and our choices.” Former congressional candidate Jesse Mermell, a senior leader at Planned Parenthood, stated, “This would be a disaster for pregnant people in S.C., disproportionately impacting black and brown people. And would set dangerous precedent.” Ilyse Hogue, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America, called the bill “a cruel way to exert power and control over pregnant people.”
“The bill would disproportionately impact young people, women, and people of color—and require nonconsensual transvaginal ultrasounds to detect fetal heartbeats. We must fight back.”Women’s March Twitter page