COLUMBIA, S.C.–With four legislative days remaining in the 2015 session, the South Carolina Senate gave third reading to a heavily amended Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H 3114) Wednesday and returned the bill to the S.C. House for further consideration. The Senators requested a voice vote, so there was no roll call vote on third readings.
On May 19, the Senators voted 37-7 to advance the bill on second reading. Third reading usually occurs one day later, but a filibuster on financial matters delayed third reading for more than a week.
In February the SC House passed the fetal pain bill with no exceptions other than to save the mother’s life. The vote was 80-27.
Because the bill started in the House, the House can look at the Senate amendments and agree with them or further amend the bill. If the House further amends the bill, it goes back to the Senate for an up-or-down vote. At that point, the Senate cannot add amendments, but it can be filibustered. With only four legislative days remaining in the session, whatever happens must happen quickly.
Lisa Van Riper, President of South Carolina Citizens for Life said last week, “We are working toward the day when no child will be subjected to the extreme pain of abortion at 20 weeks she enters the sixth month of life” in the womb.
Although SCCL does not agree with the Senate amendments exempting children conceived in rape or diagnosed with disabilities, passing the amended bill was the strategy to keep it in play, according the pro-life Senate leader Larry Grooms, R-Berkeley. “Otherwise it would die. We would not have a bill,” he said.
“Pro-abortion groups have gotten away with advocating for even brutal late abortions because their friends in the media won’t call them on even their most extreme views,” said Carol Tobias, President of the National Right to Life Committee. “But we do.”
“National Right to Life created the first ad campaigns against partial-birth abortion, we helped craft the first bans against that method, and we saw the fight through to ban that procedure to final victory in the U.S. Supreme Court,” Mrs. Tobias said. “Now it is urgent that we educate the public about and ban other, equally cruel forms of the torture and killing of innocent unborn children, like painful late abortions and dismemberment abortions.”
South Carolina Citizens for Life has been the state affiliate of NRLC since 1974 and has advocated successfully for the passage of 14 SC pro-life laws with a corresponding 58 percent reduction of the number of abortions occurring in our state.