The bill now moves to the South Carolina Senate.
The dismemberment ban is the legislative priority of South Carolina Citizens for Life (SCCL) and of the National Right to Life Committee that produced the model law.
During the nearly five hours of debate, freshman Republican Lin Bennett of Charleston, the bill’s chief sponsor, asked House members, “What kind of people have we become that this procedure is even a matter for debate?”
She said “It is mind-boggling that we are even debating this issue — that we have to argue about the legality of an abortionist using clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments that, through the convergence of two rigid levers — slices, crushes, and grasps a portion of the living — living — unborn child’s body to cut or rip it off so that she bleeds to death in her mother’s womb.”
South Carolina Citizens for Life President Lisa Van Riper praised the strongly bi-partisan vote noting that 17 Democrats joined the Republican “to protect unborn children from the barbaric abortion procedure that results in the dismemberment of a living unborn child.
“This gruesome procedure has no place in a civilized society” Mrs. Van Riper said.
No Republican opposed the bill.
House Speaker Jay Lucas, R-Darlington, praised the majority party’s success.
“The South Carolina House Republican Caucus is committed to protecting the unalienable right to life of the unborn, ” he said. “Representative Lin Bennett and other passionate conservatives have worked for months on this bill and I commend them for its overwhelming bipartisan passage. The dismemberment process is disturbing and horrific and I am very pleased South Carolina is added to the list of states where this procedure is essentially banned.”
“For decades, the South Carolina House Republican Caucus has provided strong leadership in support of numerous pro-life efforts,” said House Majority Leader Gary Simrill, R-Rock Hill. “Today’s successful vote in favor of the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act is one more way we can protect the unborn, promoting a culture of life and the pursuit of happiness. Our caucus will always support life at every opportunity.”
Since 1990 the General Assembly has passed 15 pro-life laws and the number of abortions occurring in South Carolina has declined by nearly 60 percent.
Other organizations joining SCCL and its statewide network of chapters in supporting passage of H3548 include the South Carolina Association of Pregnancy Care Centers, the South Carolina Baptist Convention, the Catholic Diocese of Charleston, and Palmetto Family Council and its affiliate, the Nehemiah Project.
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