SC House Passes Heartbeat Protection

For Immediate Release: May 17, 2023
Contact: media@sbaprolife.org

South Carolina is 3rd State This Week to Advance Lifesaving Legislation

COLUMBIA, S.C. – A measure protecting babies with a heartbeat is one step closer to becoming law in South Carolina thanks to a favorable House vote this evening. Today was the second day of the legislature convening following Gov. Henry McMaster calling lawmakers back to protect life and prevent South Carolina from becoming a destination for painful late-term abortions. With amendments from the House, S. 474 now goes back to the full Senate for a vote.

The bill protects life at the point that a heartbeat is detected with exceptions for rape, incest, life and health of the mother, and fatal fetal anomaly. The state’s current law allows for unborn lives to be taken until 22 weeks gestation – seven weeks beyond the point when a baby can first feel pain.

SBA Pro-Life America’s Southern Regional Director Caitlin Connors commented:

“The momentum for life in the states continues with favorable votes this week in South Carolina, North Carolina and Nebraska to advance lifesaving measures.

“Enacting a heartbeat law that can withstand legal challenges will be a giant step forward for South Carolina. This measure will save thousands of lives each year, and move the state from allowing painful, late-term abortions to protecting unborn children at the point when they have more than a 90% chance of surviving to birth. We thank Gov. Henry McMaster for calling legislators back and look forward to the Senate swiftly sending the heartbeat bill to his desk.”

On Tuesday evening, the North Carolina General Assembly overrode Democrat Gov. Cooper’s veto of a 12-week protection and Nebraska advanced a 12-week measure for a final vote. The NC and NE measures eliminate late-term abortions in the states and protect babies in the womb who feel pain, suck their thumbs and make facial expressions.

In 2021, Gov. McMaster signed a law to protect the unborn when a heartbeat is detected around six weeks gestation. That law was challenged and permanently enjoined by the South Carolina Supreme Court on Jan. 5 of this year. Sponsors of S. 474 have crafted the measure to withstand a legal challenge and satisfy the majority of state Supreme Court justices.

Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America is a network of more than one million pro-life Americans nationwide, dedicated to ending abortion by electing national leaders and advocating for laws that save lives, with a special calling to promote pro-life women leaders.

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