The Heartbeat Bill, a pro-life bill that aims to ban abortion when a fetal heartbeat is detected, gives hope to anti-abortion activists as it makes its way through the South Carolina Legislature.
A vote of 9-8, in favor of advancing the bill, was made by the Senate Medical Affairs Committee which makes abortion of an unborn child with detectable heartbeat illegal, The Blaze reported. An unborn baby's heartbeat can be detected as early as six to eight weeks during a woman's pregnancy.
The bill is applicable to everyone except for when an abortion is needed to be performed in order to save a pregnant woman's life.
A fine of ten thousand dollars and a charge for a felony crime will be subjected to anyone who performs the act of abortion after detecting the child's heartbeat or can be sent to prison for up to two years if the fine is not paid. In addition, any medical employee who partakes in the abortion process can lose their license.
One of the bill's supporters, State Sen. Richard Cash, defended the bill against people who are against the passing of the bill for reasons like rape and said, innocent human lives should not pay for a rapists action.
"This is not in any way to minimize the violence, the trauma, the very difficult situation that the woman has been put in by the rapist," he said. "There are no easy answers in a situation like this."
The Blaze wrote that the bill is expected to be passed after the expansion of the Republicans' legislative majorities in the senate house during the November election.
The pro-life legislation has been blocked from advancing through the South Carolina Legislature for years by the state Senate Democrats. Post and Courier reported that the Committee's Democrats refused to partake in the voting for the approval of the bill. State Sen. Marlon Kimpson explained why the party did not want to participate in approving a bill that they think is "fundamentally unconstitutional."
"Since there's no way to cure the defects, I will not try and put lipstick on a pig in an effort to help (Republicans) sanitize a fatally flawed bill," Sen. Kimpson said.
After years of not being able to pass the bill, it finally had its chance when the Democrats lost three seats to conservative Republicans who support the bill.
Citizens of South Carolina who support the bill think that challenges with the court will be faced along the way of passing the bill. Although, it is a challenge they would welcome especially with the Trump-appointed Supreme Court Justices whom they hope would possibly take and re-examine the case.
"With changes to the U.S. Supreme Court, it is our sincere hope that the legislation will withstand constitutional challenge and be implemented in order to save innocent, unborn babies' lives when a heartbeat is present," the South Carolina Citizens for Life stated in their letter to the Medical Affairs Committee.