Jumping Hurdles — Protecting Life
Today, few issues are so polarizing that the mere discussion of them often causes people to tune out to protect their firmly held beliefs, or worse, tempers flare, harsh words are exchanged, friendships are lost, or family relations are fractured. No, I’m not talking about Donald Trump or Joe Biden. The topic is pro-life/abortion.
At issue was the passage of S.474, known as the “Fetal Heartbeat Bill 2.0.” The bill is like the fetal heartbeat law signed in 2021, which Planned Parenthood and others immediately challenged. It temporarily took effect last summer after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and left the legality of abortion up to state lawmakers. The state Supreme Court suspended the law last August and in January struck it down, ruling the law violated privacy rights guaranteed in the state constitution.
With eliminating our six-week abortion ban, S.C. law defaulted to an old ban limiting abortions after 20 weeks or five months. That makes the issue of abortion in S.C. increasingly urgent, partly due to the actions of neighboring states. North Carolina recently approved a ban on nearly all abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy, down from their current 20 weeks. S.C. is now poised to be an abortion-destination state, the only state in the Southeast where abortions are still widely available.
This week, members of the S.C. House of Representatives listened to one another for about 25 hours of debate over two very long days considering pro-life legislation. The debate was civil, engaging, and passionate.
With House Republicans having a super-majority, the outcome of the final vote was inevitable. But before the debate, one Democrat leader outlined their strategy, telling reporters, “We are going to make it hurt if they’re going to force this on us.”
Another declared, “We’re not interested in going along to get along.”
There were stark differences in the views of nearly all House Democrats versus Republicans.
Democrats filed more than 900 amendments to derail the Heartbeat Bill. They used every procedural maneuver in their playbook to prolong getting through them. Hundreds of the amendments were ruled out of order as “dilatory,” meaning they’re so similar they were apparent attempts to delay the debate. Nearly 100 more were thrown out by House Speaker Murrell Smith as “frivolous and absurd.” More than 900 votes soundly defeated every amendment.
For me, there was a striking difference in beliefs. Democrats continually focused on a woman’s rights (“My Body, My Choice”) but never talked about the rights of the unborn. I don’t recall any Democrat using the terms baby or baby in the womb. They used substitute words. Was that to show a baby isn’t human until born? They lauded Planned Parenthood, whose representatives watch the entire proceedings from the House gallery.
About 20 hours into the debate, Democrats showed how far they would go to promote abortions-for-all. They offered an amendment to strip parents of their legal rights allowing 15-year-olds the right to abort their babies without their parent’s knowledge or consent. Twenty-four Democrats voted in favor of their amendment. I found that to be disgusting.
By contrast, in wrapping up the 25 hours of debate, Republican women legislators offered impassioned remarks focusing on the lives of the unborn. These women legislators proclaimed they were pro-life, not anti-women. For them (and for me), it is not an either/or scenario.
Significant Step Forward
The SC House of Representatives took a significant step forward in safeguarding the lives of the unborn with the passage of S.474, the “Fetal Heartbeat Bill 2.0.” The vote predictably fell along party lines 82-33. Two Democrats voted for it, and one Republican voted against it.
For those of us who voted for this pro-life legislation, it underscores our commitment to protect the first and most sacred inalienable right – the right to life.
S.474 introduces changes to existing state legislation requiring fetal heartbeat testing, informed consent provisions, and exceptions for medical emergencies, sexual assault, and fatal fetal anomalies. It also includes penalties for violations and addresses various provisions related to state funds, health insurance coverage, and child support.
“The passage of this bill reflects our unwavering commitment to protecting the lives of the unborn. House Republicans remained resolute in preventing South Carolina from becoming an abortion destination state.” — House Speaker Murrell Smith (R-Sumter)
This legislation, which originated in the Senate, returns to the Senate after being amended by the House. The Senate returns to the Statehouse in a special session next Tuesday. They are expected to take up the bill. If the Senate’s Republican majority agrees to House changes, the measure will head to Gov. Henry McMaster, who will sign it into law, as he did the original Heartbeat bill. A court challenge is sure to follow. Stay tuned.
PICTURE OF THE WEEK
Roughly 1 million abortions occur in the U.S. every year. Planned Parenthood alone performs more than a third of those abortions as the nation’s largest abortion provider. Planned Parenthood has two facilities in South Carolina: Charleston and Columbia.
Want to Know More?
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- About Me: https://taylorschouse.com/about-2/
- My Positions: https://taylorschouse.com/issues/
- Sponsored Bill & Voting Record: http://tiny.cc/b1pouz
- Recent Newsletters: https://taylorschouse.com/category/newsletter/
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