South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster Signs Heartbeat Law Saving Babies From Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 25, 2023   |   10:50AM   |   Columbia, South Carolina

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster today signed the heartbeat law that makes South Carolina the next state to legally protect babies from abortions.

The South Carolina legislature recently passed the bill that would save babies from abortions by banning abortions after 6 weeks when an unborn baby’s heartbeat can be detected. In a vote of 27-19, the Senate on Tuesday voted to approve House changes made to a six-week abortion ban — S. 474 — that would prohibit abortions once the heartbeat is able to be discerned.

Now, McMaster has signed the bill into law in a ceremony where he was joined by members of the General Assembly and members of the pro-life community to sign S. 474, the Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act, into law.

“With my signature, the Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act is now law and will begin saving the lives of unborn children immediately,” said Governor Henry McMaster. “This is a great day for life in South Carolina, but the fight is not over. We stand ready to defend this legislation against any challenges and are confident we will succeed. The right to life must be preserved, and we will do everything we can to protect it.”

The Act is effective immediately and can begin saving babies from abortion today.

However, the Planned Parenthood abortion business has already indicated it will file a lawsuit to block the new law so it can continue killing babies in abortions. As a result, the law may have to wait to be implemented until the lawsuit is complete – unless a judge denies the abortion company’s request for a restraining order.

Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey said the state needed to pass the bill to protect babies and stop the influx of people from other states having abortions.

In February, DHEC reported that 504 South Carolina residents received an abortion, compared to 482 visitors, according to Massey. And in March, 525 S.C. residents and 433 visitors received abortions.

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“The abortion landscape has changed considerably even from our last debate on the issue just last month,” Massey, R-Edgefield, said, referring to the upper chamber’s vote in April to reject a near-total abortion ban. “South Carolina has become the abortion capital of the southeast, and there’s really no other way to say that.”

The pro-life bill includes exceptions for rape and incest no more than 12 weeks, fatal fetal anomaly and the mother’s life. Under House modifications, the bill includes several new requirements, such as requiring child support to start at conception and allowing a judge to decide if a minor can have an abortion should a parent or guardian be unavailable.

Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, a leading pro-life group, applauded passage. SBA’s Caitlin Connors celebrated the bill’s passage:

“South Carolina’s heartbeat protection reflects the will of the people and the science. A heartbeat is one of the key vital signs of life, and once that heartbeat is detected, a baby has more than a 90% chance of surviving to birth. This measure will save thousands of individuals each year who will enrich the lives of others and the state of South Carolina,” she told LifeNews. “We thank South Carolina House members for their persistence during marathon days last week when Democrats introduced 1,000 amendments as a stall tactic in their effort to continue late-term abortions, and we’re grateful the Senate today sent this much needed protection to Gov. McMaster’s desk.”

If the law is upheld, South Carolina will soon join the 18 states that protect babies from abortions at 15 weeks or earlier.

The state’s previous heartbeat law was struck down by the state Supreme Court, which left open the possibility of passing a new measure. The legislature was in the middle of finishing work on the heartbeat law when the session ended and McMaster ordered a special legislative session so the bill could move forward.

The bill passed by an 82-33 vote in the House, largely along party lines with two Democrats in the chamber joining Republicans.

According to the State Department of Health and Environmental Control, there currently are 1,000 abortions per month occurring in the Palmetto State largely because of out-of-state abortion traffic. That means the law would save hundreds of babies every month and thousands every year.