The S.C. Senate Medical Affairs Committee advanced a flawed fetal pain bill to the full Senate by a vote of 9-6. South Carolina Citizens for Life supported advancing the bill but opposed the weakening amendment to exclude children diagnosed with disabilities “incompatible with life outside the womb” or children who were conceived in rape or incest.
The bill, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H3114) acknowledges the scientific finding that unborn children can feel pain by at least the 20th week of life after fertilization and and it in theory protects those children from the savage abortion procedures.
The wide open rape exception, however, allows women carrying perfectly healthy babies to obtain an abortion at 20 weeks or later simply by claiming she was raped whether she was nor not. The fetal anomaly exclusion discriminates against unborn children with disabilities and ultimate devalues the lives of any disabled person.
The “fetal anomaly” exclusion was particularly disappointing to Savannah Duke, 14, of Spartanburg who was diagnosed with serious medical problems before birth and was born with one leg. She now is an honor student and member of the Dorman High varsity swim team. See a video of this remarkable teen here.
On March 18, Savannah testified before the Medical Affair Subcommittee and along with her mother, Wendy Duke, advocated for the lives of all unborn children especially those with disabilities. For detailed information see Mrs. Duke’s blog here.
“I’m sad that the committee passed an amendment that would let someone kill a baby because it is sick or has medical problems” Savannah Duke said after the Medical Affairs Committee action Thursday.
“That seems really cruel, especially when there’s a chance it can feel the pain of an abortion. But I hope the whole Senate will vote to make abortions after 20 weeks illegal.” Mrs. Duke expressed frustration with the committee. “The amendments allow us to kill a child with medical problems, the most vulnerable of our people.”
Call your Republican Senator Now and ask him or her to set H 3114, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, for special order. See names below.
Name of Senator County Represented Columbia Telephone Number
Thomas Alexander Oconee, Pickens 803-212-6220
Sean Bennett Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester 803-212-6116
Lee Bright Spartanburg/ Greenville 803-212-6008
Kevin Bryant Anderson 803-212-6320
Paul Campbell Berkeley 803-212-6016
Chip Campsen Beaufort, Charleston, Colleton 803- 212-6340
Ray Cleary Charleston/Georgetown/Horry 803-212-6040
Creighton Coleman Chester, Fairfield, York 803-212-6132
Tom Corbin Greenville/Spartanburg 803-212-6100
John Courson Lexington/Richland 803-212-6250
Ronnie Cromer Newberry 803-212-6330
Tom Davis Beaufort-Jasper 803-212-6008
Mike Fair Greenville 803-212-6420
Chauncey Gregory Lancaster/York 803-212-6024
Larry Grooms Berkeley/Charleston 803-212-6400
Wes Hayes York 803-212-6240
Greg Hembree Dillon/Horry 803-212-6016
Hugh Leatherman Florence/Darlington 803-212-6640
Larry Martin Pickens 803-212-6610
Shane Martin Spartanburg/Greenville/Union 803-212-6100
Shane Massey Aiken/Edgefield/ Lexington/
Saluda/ McCormick 803-212-6024
Billy O’Dell Abbeville, Anderson, Greenville 803-212-6350
Harvey Peeler Cherokee/ Spartanburg/ Union/York 803-212-6430
Luke Rankin Horry 803-212-6410
Katrina Shealy Lexington 803-212-6108
Paul Thurmond Charleston/Dorchester 803-212-6172
Ross Turner Greenville 803-212-6148
Danny Verdin Laurens/Greenville 803-212-6230
Tom Young Aiken 803-212-6124
Here is how the votes went down in the committee and the SCCL position on each vote.*
1. Senator Cleary, R, Georgetown moved to have the deeply flawed subcommittee amendment adopted by the full committee:
Senator Verdin, R, Lauren, moved to table the motion, the SCCL position. The subcommittee amendment passed by a 3-2 vote on April 1 and numerous weakening amendments including rape and fetal anomaly.
The motion to table failed. 7-8
Voting for the SCCL position to table were Republican Senators Hayes, Fair, Bright, Verdin Alexander, Davis, and Shane Martin. Voting against the SCCL position were Republicans Peeler (the committee chairman), and Cleary, and Democrats Lourie, Pinkney, Scott, Johnson, Hutto, and Nicholson.
Senator Bright, R, Spartanburg, moved to vote again on the motion to table. This time the motion passed 8-7 with Senator Peeler switching his vote to the SCCL position.
That meant that the clean bill H3114 that passed the S.C. House without amendments was then before the full Senate Medical Affairs Committee for consideration.
2. Senator Hutto, D, Orangeburg, moved to amend the House bill to exclude children conceived in rape.
Senator Verdin moved to table the amendment, the SCCL position. The tabling amendment failed 7-7.
Voting for the motion to table, the SCCL position, were Republican Senators Hayes, Fair, Bright, Verdin, Alexander, Davis, and Shane Martin.
Voting against the SCCL position were Republican Senator Peeler, and Democrats Lourie, Pinkney, Scott, Johnson, Hutto, and Nicholson. Senator Cleary did not vote. The rape amendment was then voted on and passed 7-8 with Senators Cleary and Peeler joining the Democrats against the SCCL position.
4. Senator Hutto moved to amend the House bill to exclude children diagnosed with prenatal disabilities..
Senator Verdin moved to table the motion, the SCCL position. The motion to table failed 7-8 with Senators Peeler and Cleary voting with the Democrats. The fetal anomaly amendment was then passed 8-7 with Republicans Peeler and Cleary voting with the Democrats Lourie, Pinkney, Scott, Johnson, Hutto, and Nicholson.
5. The final vote was for passage of the bill which SCCL supported in order to get it on to the Senate Calendar for debate. SCCL will continue to oppose the weakening amendments and will work to have them removed when the full S.C. Senate votes on the bill..
The bill passed 9-6 as follows: In favor of passage, the SCCL position: Republicans Peeler, Cleary, Hayes, Fair, Bright, Verdin, Alexander, Davis, and Shane Martin. Voting against passage were Democrats Lourie, Pinkney, Scott, Johnson, Hutto, and Nicholson.