South Carolina’s Fetal Heart Rate and Abortion Protection Act is similar to abortion restriction laws that a dozen states have already passed. All are attached to the tribunal. Federal law, which takes precedence over state law, currently permits abortion.
“There are a lot of happy hearts beating in South Carolina right now,” Republican Gov. Henry McMaster said in a ceremony at the Statehouse attended by lawmakers who made the proposal a reality.
Immediately after signing the bill, a group of lawmakers and members of the public, standing shoulder to shoulder and wearing masks to protect themselves against the coronavirus, began chanting the words “Praise be to God” to the tune of “Incredible grace”.
Supporters of restrictive abortion laws are trying to take the issue to the United States Supreme Court in hopes that with three justices appointed by former Republican President Donald Trump, the court could overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision upholding abortion rights. The Supreme Court has already ruled that abortion is legal until a fetus is viable outside the womb – months after a heartbeat can be detected, Black noted.
State bills to restrict or ban abortion “are just nonsense,” she said. “There is no other way around this.”
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson released a statement Thursday saying his office “will vigorously defend this law in court because there is nothing more important than protecting life.” He stood near McMaster as the governor signed the bill.
Abortion opponents have been calling for the ban for years, but it got stuck on a procedural hurdle in the Senate. Republicans won three Senate seats in the November election and the bill was titled “Senate Bill # 1” to show that it was the top priority.
“We’re about to do what I’ve been trying to do for 25 years: shut down the abortion industry in South Carolina,” Republican Senator Larry Grooms said moments before the governor signed off on the bill. of law.
Democrats say Republicans wasted taxpayer money passing a bill that everyone knew would be challenged in court. They also argue that there are more important issues needing their attention, such as COVID-19, healthcare and education.
“We are tired of hypocrisy,” said parliamentary minority leader Todd Rutherford. Rutherford said Democrats were also fed up with lawmakers across the aisle telling them they didn’t care about life.
“We care about life to death. We care about birth. … We care about the people who eat, the people who don’t die because they can’t get vaccinated, ”he said.
The lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights argues that South Carolina’s new law “is in flagrant violation of nearly five decades of Supreme Court precedent.” The lawsuit says a high rate of women, especially African Americans, die during or immediately after childbirth in South Carolina. The abortion ban would fall harder on low-income women, who would not be able to travel to a neighboring state where abortion is still permitted, according to the lawsuit.
A hearing to determine whether the law should be stayed while the trial is heard is scheduled for Friday afternoon.
Like Democratic lawmakers, Black said the focus on abortion not only wastes money fighting established law, but also ignores a host of other important issues.
“If lawmakers are really interested in improving lives, we have a long list of priorities they can focus on,” she said.
South Carolina law requires doctors to perform ultrasound scans to check the heartbeat of the fetus. If there is one, abortion can only be performed if the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest or if the mother’s life is in danger.
The measure does not punish a pregnant woman for having had an illegal abortion, but the person who performed the abortion could be charged with a felony, sentenced to a sentence of up to two years and a fine of 10,000. $ if found guilty.
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