The Republican-majority legislature in South Carolina passed a bill to ban abortion if the abortionist detects a heartbeat, and Governor Henry McMaster signed the South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act into law on Thursday.
“Today, we made history,” he wrote in a tweet. “The Heartbeat Bill is now the law of South Carolina and we will defend it with everything in us because there is nothing more important than protecting the sanctity of life!”
An abortionist who kills a baby in the womb after detecting the baby’s heartbeat faces two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000 — except in cases of rape, incest, or medical emergency.
CBN News reported that Democrats walked out of the House chamber in protest after the bill passed.
After holding a news conference to speak against the bill, several other Democrats returned to express their opposition to the measure which has come up for debate in the legislature numerous times over the past decade. “You love the fetus in the womb. But when it is born, it’s a different reaction,” claimed State Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter of Orangeburg, the House’s longest-serving member at 29 years.
For years, the bill has failed to pass the South Carolina Senate. But Republicans gained three seats in the 2020 elections and the newly energized 30-16 Republican majority made the proposal Senate Bill No. 1 and finally pushed it over a procedural hurdle.
Other states have passed heartbeat bills, but most are blocked from enforcement due to court rulings.
Today, we made history. The Heartbeat Bill is now the law of South Carolina and we will defend it with everything in us because there is nothing more important than protecting the sanctity of life! pic.twitter.com/n9ldH3CUAJ
— Gov. Henry McMaster (@henrymcmaster) February 18, 2021