By Holly Gatling, Executive Director, South Carolina Citizens for Life
COLUMBIA, S.C. (Friday, May 5, 2023) – With one week left in the 2023 session of the General Assembly, the South Carolina House will take up the Heartbeat Bill in hopes of stemming the flood of abortions now occurring in the Palmetto State.
Representative John McCravy, R-Greenwood, confirmed today that the House will take up the Heartbeat Bill (S474) next week after the State Senate was unable to pass the Human Life Protection Act (H3774) this session. The Human Life Protection Act would have protected unborn children from death by abortion once the mother’s pregnancy is clinically diagnosed.
In February, however, the Senate passed a Heartbeat Act (S474) that protects the unborn child once the fetal heartbeat is detected. The heartbeat bill currently is in the House Judiciary Committee. Both bills have exceptions for life of the mother, serious bodily impairment of the mother, medical emergency, rape and incest, and fatal fetal anomaly.
In a statement released Friday to South Carolina Citizens for Life, Representative McCravy, chairman of the House Family Caucus, said, “It looks like we will be taking up the heartbeat bill next week in the House. North Carolina is passing a pro-life bill. Florida just passed a pro-life bill. We cannot let our state become an abortion destination state.”
Lisa Van Riper, President of South Carolina Citizens for Life said, “We appreciate the action by the House. The House is taking the right action at the right time to save as many children as possible. We encourage the House and the Senate to move forward. The heartbeat is an indicator of life at all stages of human development.”
Abortion data from the State Department of Health and Environmental Control show that more than 1, 000 babies a month are dying in the state’s three lucrative abortion businesses. Planned Parenthood operates abortion businesses in Columbia and Charleston. The abortion business in Greenville is privately owned.
Because the South Carolina Senate failed twice to pass the Human Life Protection Act that protects the unborn child when the mother’s pregnancy is clinically diagnosable, Representative McCravy said the “best pro-life bill we can pass at this time” will protect the unborn child once the fetal heartbeat can be detected.
Currently abortion in South Carolina is legal up to 20 weeks after fertilization.