History was made at the South Carolina Statehouse. In rapid action, the General Assembly passed the Fetal Heartbeat Bill, and Gov. Henry McMaster immediately signed it into law.
Making History: Passing the Heartbeat Bill
The Heartbeat Bill outlaws abortions in SC after a heartbeat has been detected (around 6-8 weeks of pregnancy). A majority of South Carolinians support it. It was a long legislative road to get to the historic bill signing. Last year, the House passed the bill only to see it burn out in the Senate. The Senate is now energized with three new Republican/Conservatives, which helps prevent Democrats from blocking legislation. During this session, the Senate made the Heartbeat Bill (S.1) their #1 priority. They quickly passed the legislation and sent it to the House.
The House floor debate was compelling. (Aiken Standard reports on the Aiken Delegation vote). Most of the Democrat Representatives walked out in protest rather than thoroughly debating the issue.
The legislation contains exceptions for abortions due to rape and incest. Those types of abortions total about 1% of all abortions.
In the end, the bill passed on a vote of 79-35. The Heartbeat Bill is a huge step in the right direction of protecting the innocent life of the unborn, and I am honored to be part of the most significant pro-life bill to pass in South Carolina history.
PUSHBACK AGENDA SUCCESS!
We must continue to stand against laws and Executive Orders that further erode American society. The SC Fetal Heartbeat Bill is a part of the legislative PUSHBACK AGENDA I have been writing about over the last two weeks. While legislatures in New York and several other Liberal states celebrate their recent abortion laws that border on infanticide, the Fetal Heartbeat Bill’s passage sends a message that South Carolina stands for life. We give voice to helpless, unborn babies.
Traditional American values enshrined in our Declaration of Independence that we are “endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Life is precious. Life is the first Right listed.
Those who defend abortion claim it is a woman’s choice. They seem to ignore the moral concept that a human in the womb with a heartbeat has the Right to Life. How extreme can their views be? One woman wrote me describing a baby in the womb as ‘just a group of cells.’ Thankfully, her opinion is very much in the minority.
Expected Legal Action
It took only moments for Planned Parenthood to file suit in federal court in Columbia. The federal judge (an Obama appointee) granted a 14-day temporary restraining order blocking the law from going into effect. There will be a March 9th hearing on a more extensive injunction. This is the opening shot in an expected long legal battle.
———– LEGISLATIVE BRIEFS ———–
PUSHBACK: Maintaining Election Integrity: This week, there were a series of bills in the House Judiciary Committee to reform our state’s election system. Again, this is part of the PUSHBACK AGENDA to thwart efforts to weaken our election process. These bills aim to streamline and structure our state’s election system, preserving every citizen’s vote integrity. I look forward to soon debating these bills on the House floor.
PUSHBACK: Protecting Religious Freedoms: During the nationwide pandemic shutdowns, churchgoers in many parts of America were denied the ability to gather and worship. We’re PUSHING BACK because this is unacceptable and unconstitutional. The South Carolina Religious Freedoms Act (H.3105) protects the right to hold religious services, even during a state of emergency. This bill is working its way through the committee. I am a cosponsor and will vigorously support it.
Helping Tech College Students: I supported a bill proposing that students attending two-year institutions (including technical colleges) may qualify for the Palmetto Fellows scholarship. The bill passed by a vote of 115-0.
Foster Care Expansion: The House Judiciary Committee considered a bill that extends foster care to individuals up to 21 years of age instead of 18. Foster children need support during this transitional period between childhood and adulthood, and this bill guarantees that help is available to them.
Home Delivery for Beer & Wine: Two bills that would make it easier for South Carolinians to buy beer and wine without having to leave their car — or their home — cleared another legislative committee hurdle on the road to becoming law. Forty other states already allow the delivery of alcohol, including Georgia and North Carolina.
COVID Money Approved: The General Assembly has approved a bill that would pay for COVID-19 vaccination clinics across the state. $208 million in vaccine relief that will help pay for staff to give the vaccines, clinic marketing, facility rentals, and personal protective equipment, among other things.
COVID Vaccine: We need to have more healthcare professionals on the front lines delivering the COVID vaccines. I supported a joint resolution to authorize podiatrists to administer the COVID-19 vaccine, which passed the House on a unanimous vote.
COVID-19 Facts: Who is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
– Frontline healthcare workers
– Anyone 65+ years
– State/local government employees who perform COVID-19 vaccinations and testing in SC
– To understand who is getting vaccinated in SC by demographic, visit the NEW Vaccination Dashboard.
COVID-19 Facts: What are the numbers?
– Total Doses Given in South Carolina: 705,776
– Total People Vaccinated in South Carolina: 528,480
– People with 1 Vaccine dose: 527,691
– People with 2 Vaccine doses: 177,126
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: SC’s Living History. Huge crowds, perfect weather, and ferocious fights! This weekend we experienced the Annual Battle of Aiken. The reenactors never disappoint in delivering important history lessons for young & old – our granddaughters loved it!
— BONUS SECTION: PUSHBACK AGENDA EXPLAINED —
Our nation is changing – and not for the better. Most sensible folks, and particularly those who have been around awhile, shake their heads in disbelief. The unimaginable is becoming a reality. The federal government is in ‘command & control’ mode often using the pandemic for its rationale to issue edicts. Personal liberty be damned. Meanwhile, Big Tech censorship is cancelling those who don’t fall in line with their thinking.
This isn’t a Democrat or Republican issue – it’s a BIG government, BIG Tech issue. In Washington, the three equal branches of government are a myth. The executive branch showers we lowly ‘subjects’ with Executive Orders while federal bureaucrats thrust down strangling regulations. The legislative branch (Congress) squabbles among themselves wallowing in raw politics. The third branch, the federal courts, have become highly politicized and fail to be impartial referees using the Constitution as their guidebook.
Who can step on the brakes and stand up to a federal government that bullies its citizens? State legislatures. That’s what our founders intended – they intended a limited federal government and strong state governments. Historically, state legislatures have provided better representation because it’s government closer to the people and better understand unique local and regional issues.
THE PUSHBACK AGENDA
Thankfully, state legislatures across the country are stepping up to assert their rightful authority. Hopefully, it’s not too late. In the South Carolina General Assembly individual legislators have filed numerous bills addressing the many problems. This week I researched those bills and pulled them together in what I call ‘The Pushback Agenda’. Check out the key legislation:
Limiting the Powers of the Federal Government
H. 3205: Article V Convention of the States – Rep. Taylor(47 cosponsors).
Someone said this week that this is “The needed rebellion without bullets.” This legislation is the lawful path to rein-in the federal government. It was given to us by our founders in Article V of the U.S. Constitution. S.C. would join many other states in proposing amendments to the Constitution that would impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and provide for term limits on Congress and federal judges.
H.3869: Nullifying Illegal Executive Orders – Rep. Taylor (30 cosponsors)
This legislation would mandate South Carolina ignore illegal White House Executive Orders that are unconstitutional. This bill requires the S.C. Attorney General to review the constitutionality of Executive Orders and if they are unlawful or unconstitutional, the Executive Order would be nullified and not enforced in S.C. Remember, liberal-leaning states have been doing this for years (i.e., illegal alien sanctuaries, etc.)
To Be Filed: Rejecting Lawless Federal Government Actions – Rep. Chumley
The legislation reaffirms the 1789 Kentucky Resolution, which rejects lawless federal government actions. It was penned by Thomas Jefferson and is a compact among states to reject undelegated powers of the federal government.
Limiting Federal Efforts to Enact Gun Control
H. 3710: No Right to Keep or Bear Arms Restrictions – Rep. Burns (6 cosponsors)
This proposal would amend our State Constitutional provisions allowing every citizen to keep and bear arms, to clarify that it as a fundamental and inalienable right, especially in defense of oneself or our State. Furthermore, any attempts to restrict this right would be subject to strict scrutiny review standards.
H.3094: Open Carry with Training Act – Rep. Cox (66 cosponsors)
This would allow those with a concealable weapon permit (CWP) to carry a concealable weapon openly on their person instead, if they choose to do so.
H.3450: Stopping Social Media Censorship – Rep. Burns (7 cosponsors)
This bill was the first to be filed of its type and now 13 other states have followed. The digital public square on the major social media sites must encourage a free flow of political and religious ideas in robust debate. This bill gives South Carolinians the ability to take legal action against the large social media sites that censor them.
Resisting Federal Moves to Expand Abortions
H.3163: South Carolina Stands for Life Act – Rep McCravy (66 cosponsors)
Similar to S.1 (The Heartbeat Bill which has passed the Senate) this legislation requires testing for a detectable fetal heartbeat before an abortion could be performed on pregnant women and prohibit the abortion when a fetal heartbeat is detected unless the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest, a fetal anomaly is detected, or there is a high likelihood the health of the mother would be dangerously compromised by the pregnancy.
Rioting & Mob Violence
H. 3491: Citizen and Taxpayer Protection Act – Rep. Burns (15 cosponsors)
Peaceful protests are welcome; mob violence isn’t. This bill makes it a criminal offense to unlawfully obstruct public highways and roads. Assault and battery by a mob would raise a presumption of premeditation. Attempting to take a motor vehicle by a mob would be a criminal offense. Instigating, aiding, or participating in a riot would invoke a mandatory order of restitution to victims upon conviction. This sets up a legal defense for anyone being confronted by a mob if they feel they need to show their gun to defend themselves.
Restraining COVID Edicts
H.3105: South Carolina Religious Freedom Act – Rep. Yow (19 cosponsors)
South Carolina Religious Freedom Act deems religious services as essential services during states of emergency, which would allow them to continue operating.
H.3217: Vaccines are Voluntary – Rep. Chumley (15 cosponsors)
This bill allows South Carolinian’s to opt-out of vaccinations for infectious or contagious diseases during a pandemic should the federal government order mandatory vaccinations.
H.3218: Voiding Federal Face Covering Mandates – Rep. Chumley (8 cosponsors)
This legislation prohibits state officials from participating in the enforcement of any unlawful federal mask mandate.
H.3597: South Carolina COVID‑19 Liability Safe Harbor Act – Rep. Taylor. H.3698: South Carolina COVID‑19 Liability Safe Harbor Act – Rep. Pope
These bills are similar to S-147 that affords some civil liability protections for health care providers and businesses that follow public health guidance in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
H.3443: Oversight of Governor’s Emergency Powers – Rep. Lucas (19 cosponsors). H.3556: Limiting Governor’s Emergency Powers – Rep. Taylor (5 cosponsors)
These bills establish more General Assembly Oversight of Gubernatorial Emergency Orders. After 30 days of an order’s date, the General Assembly could meet at the call of the House Speaker and Senate President and the order could be terminated, altered, amended or consented to at this called meeting.
H.3410: Absentee Ballot Witness Information – Rep. Long
This proposed legislation requires a witness signature confirming an absentee ballot. The witness’s SC driver’s license number or voter registration number must be included for verification.
H.3813: Protecting the Electoral College – Rep. Taylor
This bill makes clear that South Carolina continues to endorse use of the Electoral College and rejects the move to join the National Popular Vote (NPV) Compact which has been proposed in two bills filed by SC House Democrats.
Heritage Protection & Civic Education
H.3249: Protecting SC’s Monuments & Memorials – Rep. Taylor (10 cosponsors)
This legislation withholds state funds from local governments that remove historical monuments in violation of the Heritage Act. If monuments are illegally removed, the bill provides for local historical organizations to sue local governments for damages. These monuments and memorials are not only part of our historical landscape, but many are valued works of art. What has taken well over a century to acquire must not be destroyed on a whim.
H.3002: Restore America’s Foundation Act – Rep. Bennett
In addition to preparing our students for the workforce, we must prepare them to be informed American citizens. Starting in the sixth grade and continuing through the twelfth grade, this bill requires approximately one quarter of history classes be devoted to the study of America’s founding, including the causes for independence, the Revolutionary War, the founding documents, and how the founding principles shaped future events.
H.3326: Historical Accuracy – Rep. Long
Historical plaques should provide the key facts and allow the reader to form their own opinion. There are ongoing efforts, both across the nation and in SC, to turn historical plaques and markers into editorial pages for activist viewpoints. This bill requires all historical plaques and markers to be approved by the State Department of Archives and History and for the department to certify their historical accuracy free of opinionated statements.
Standing For South Carolina – A Mighty Agenda
There are those who will agree with much of this agenda. Others may disagree and ask why is this necessary? Still others will complain this is too little, too late and why bother, we’ve already lost.
My answer – America is worth saving. It was founded on principles the world never experienced. Our nation is the beacon of liberty for the world and we must do everything possible to ensure the flame of liberty is not extinguished.
Join the battle. Tell your state Senator and Representatives you want them to help lead the fight to Pushback!
Join the battle. Tell your state Senator and Representatives you want them to help lead the fight to Pushback!
I’m Available and AT YOUR SERVICE
It is my honor to be of service. If you need assistance during these trying times, navigating though the flow of information on COVID-19, navigating state government or have any thoughts or concerns about what the legislature, please do not hesitate to contact me.
In Your Service,
South Carolina General Assembly
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