South Carolina: Gov. Nikki Haley Signs Key Pro-Life Bills

State   Steven Ertelt, Holly Gatling   Aug 23, 2012   |   7:50PM    Columbia, SC

Gov. Nikki Haley signed two key pro-life bills today on abortion and she was joined in doing so by pro-life advocates who were elated by her leadership in protecting unborn children and stopping abortions in South Carolina.

In a formal bill signing ceremony at the Carolina Pregnancy Center in Spartanburg, Haley signed the Opt Out of Abortion Act and the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, both strongly backed by South Carolina Citizens for Life and numerous pro-family organizations.

The Born-Alive Infant Protection Act would protect unborn children who are born alive after a failed abortion but may be purposefully left to die afterwards. The legislation defines an infant born alive as a person even if the baby survives an abortion attempt and makes it so babies who are born alive under any circumstances cannot be treated as medical waste, or deliberately killed because they are unwanted.

Columbia pediatrician Dr. Stuart Hamilton testified in favor of the bill framing the issue in terms of compassion for infants who are born alive. Several other physicians opposed the state bill although a born-alive infant protection act has been in effect for 10 years at the federal level.

Ten years ago the U.S. Congress passed the federal Born Alive Infant Protection Act after shocking reports that babies who survived induced-labor abortions at Christ Hospital near Chicago were dumped in a closet with soiled linens and left to die.  An investigation by the Illinois Health Department determined that it was not illegal to treat a newborn infant like trash.  That was the genesis for the National Right to Life Committee to promote the federal Born Alive Infant Protection Act and similar state laws.

The ceremony was packed with lawmakers and members of the public as the Governor, holding a child from the audience, said she is pro-life “not because I am a Republican. I am pro-life because I had difficulty having my two children.  I am pro-life because my husband was adopted. Someone gave him a chance at life.”

Haley said the pro-life issue “isn’t partisan” and she added that it should not be a political issue.

South Carolina Citizens for Life Board member Alexia Newman, the CPC director, welcomed the crowd saying the legislators in the room “didn’t need to ask directions” to the center. “They know where we are.”

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Senators Mike Fair, R-Greenville, and Lee Bright, R-Anderson, spoke briefly about the tough legislative battle to get the Opt Out of Abortion passed to prevent state tax dollars from funding most abortions if ObamaCare is implemented in 2014, and about the years it has taken to pass the state version of the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act that has been federal law since 2002.  Senator Fair commented that there is “nothing affordable” about the “Affordable Care Act” also known as ObamaCare.

SCCL President Lisa Van Riper said, “A pregnancy care center is the perfect location for signing pro-life legislation and we are thrilled to welcome Governor Haley into the heart of the pro-life movement.”

LIFEPAC endorsed Governor Haley in the 2010 General Election.  Her SCCL pro-life survey was 100 percent and her voting record in the House of Representatives was solidly pro-life.