By Holly Gatling, Executive Director, South Carolina Citizens for Life
(COLUMBIA, S.C., March 1) The South Carolina Senate Medical Affairs Committee today moved the bill to ban dismemberment abortions on to the full Senate. By a party line vote of 9-6, H3548 received a favorable report without amendments and will move now to the Senate Calendar.
The official name of the bill is the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act.
Last year, H3548 passed the South Carolina House by an overwhelming, bi-partisan vote of 89-17.
During the debate, Sen. Katrina Shealy said, “I’m going to get down to the crux of this thing.” She then read from the bill that makes it a crime “knowingly to dismember a living unborn child and extract him or her one piece at a time from the uterus through the use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors, or similar instruments, that through two rigid levers, will crush, slice, and/or grasp a portion of the unborn child and rip it off.”
“Now come on!” Sen. Shealy said. “Do we really want that to happen? I’m talking about children and I’m talking about feelings and I’m talking about children can feel this.
“If this was a bill about puppies” Sen. Shealy add, “we would have people lined so far down that hall to save a dog that we couldn’t get them in the building. I cannot even understand why we are having an argument here.”
Sen. Tom Davis, a Beaufort attorney, noted that during the subcommittee hearing February 15, “compelling visual evidence” was presented by Greenville pro-life physician Dr. Marc Chetta who used a 20-week fetal model and surgical instruments to demonstrate the dismemberment procedure.”
The bill now goes to the full Senate where pro-abortion senators are likely to use procedural measures to try to keep the bill from becoming law. Governor Henry McMaster has promised to sign the bill once it reaches his desk.