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South Carolina House sends Heartbeat bill to governor’s desk

Mary Margaret Olohan, DCNF

The South Carolina House passed a bill that would ban almost all abortions in the state Wednesday, the Associated Press reported.

The “South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act” overwhelmingly passed the house Wednesday, according to the Associated Press. Republican South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has promised to sign the bill as soon as he can.

“We’re closer than we’ve ever been to passing into law the most comprehensive pro-life legislation our state has ever seen,” McMaster tweeted in January when the state senate voted to pass the bill. “It’s off to the House of Representatives now, where we have great leaders who I know will fight for life.”

“We will keep pushing until the Fetal Heartbeat Bill reaches my desk and I will immediately sign it into law!” McMaster said.

The Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act would require testing for a heartbeat before an abortion can be performed on a pregnant woman and would ban abortions if the unborn baby’s heartbeat could be detected. The bill, which allows exceptions in cases of rape and incest, would not punish the mother for getting an illegal abortion but would hold the person who performed the abortion liable.

During a press conference Wednesday, McMaster called the bill “one of the most pro-life in the country. ”

“It’s a good step forward,” he added.

Most Democratic South Carolina lawmakers walked out of the chamber in protest during debate over the bill Wednesday.

“Maybe I missed some of your pro life comments on Jan 6 when five people were killed,” Democratic South Carolina state Rep. Gilda Cobb Hunter reportedly told Republicans.

“You love the fetus in the womb. But when it is born, it’s a different reaction,” she said, according to the AP.

The pro-life Susan B. Anthony List (SBA) praised news of the bill’s passage in a Wednesday statement.

“There is a growing momentum to protect life, grounded in science and compassion, by recognizing the humanity of unborn boys and girls,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “South Carolina lawmakers are acting on the will of the people in their state who want to protect life and to ensure women have true knowledge of the developing child within them.”

Pro-abortion activists have condemned the bill. The Women’s March condemned South Carolina lawmakers for passing a pro-life bill rather than focusing on COVID-19 relief.

“South Carolina’s first bill of 2021 isn’t COVID-19 relief,” the Women’s March tweeted. “It’s a near-total ban on abortion. 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.”

McMaster’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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Founded by Tucker Carlson, a 25-year veteran of print and broadcast media, and Neil Patel, former chief policy adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, The Daily Caller News Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit providing original investigative reporting from a team of professional reporters that operates for the public benefit.

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