South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster officially signed the heartbeat law, which protects unborn children by banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, typically at six weeks. This came after the state legislature passed the bill with a 27-19 vote in the Senate and an 82-33 vote in the House. In a celebratory ceremony, Governor McMaster, alongside members of the General Assembly and the pro-life community, signed the bill into law, declaring it a significant day for life in South Carolina.
The Governor further emphasized the state’s commitment to defending this law against any potential legal challenges. However, the new law has already sparked opposition, with Planned Parenthood announcing its intention to file a lawsuit to block the law in order to continue performing abortions. Consequently, the law’s implementation might be delayed until the lawsuit is resolved, unless a judge rejects the request for a restraining order.
The new legislation includes exceptions for cases of rape and incest within 12 weeks, fatal fetal anomalies, and risks to the mother’s life. Notably, the House modifications included requirements like initiating child support at conception and permitting a judge to decide on a minor’s abortion if a parent or guardian is unavailable. These additions received applause from pro-life groups, with Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America’s Caitlin Connors praising the bill’s reflection of the people’s will and the science of life.
Pending the resolution of legal challenges, South Carolina could soon join the 18 states that already protect unborn babies from abortions at 15 weeks or earlier. The previous heartbeat law had been struck down by the state Supreme Court, which prompted the legislature to draft a new measure. There are currently around 1,000 abortions occurring each month in South Carolina, mostly due to out-of-state traffic. Therefore, if upheld, this law could save hundreds of lives each month and thousands every year