SOUTH CAROLINA BAPTIST OFFICE OF PUBLIC POLICY
As my last update stated, there has been significant movement in the Legislature on passing a pro-life bill before the end of the session (which is Thursday, May 11). S474, passed by the Senate earlier this year, has been amended and is now being debated in the House. The bill passed the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Tuesday morning, and it was approved by the full House Judiciary Tuesday evening on a 16-7 vote with two members abstaining. The bill now resides in the House on the contested calendar, meaning there is much legislation to be considered before getting to S474. Democrats in the House are expected to offer as many as 1000 amendments that would render the bill unpassable in the Senate, or simply run out this year’s legislative clock.
S474 will protect life beginning at the detection of a heartbeat (approximately 6 weeks) with the following exceptions:
Life of the mother
Rape or incest (with a reporting requirement to law enforcement)
Fatal Fetal Anomaly
The exceptions are unfortunate…the pro-life community has pushed for a bill without exceptions, but the political reality is no such bill can pass the House or the Senate. Right now, we are a destination state for abortion with abortions allowed up to 22 weeks’ gestation. The latest DHEC numbers indicate abortions have risen to over 1000 per month with approximately 50% of those being performed on women from out of state.
If S474 passes the House, there is reason to believe it will pass the Senate and be sent to the Governor for his signature. It may be necessary for the Governor to call the Legislature back into session next week in order to complete this process.
This is not the best bill for protecting life. It is the best bill possible in the current political environment with the best chance of gaining the approval of the South Carolina Supreme Court. Our goal should be to continue to push our lawmakers for more protections for the unborn until every unborn life is protected and welcomed into the world.
You can find and contact your legislator by clicking on the link below.
He must increase, I must decrease
Dr. Tony Beam
Director of the Office of Public Policy