COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - In a full meeting room, Senators listened to hours of testimony from supporters and people opposed to H.3020.
The South Carolina House of Representative passed the South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat Protection From Abortion Act back in April. The bill essentially bans just about all abortions after 6 weeks of pregnancy. Exceptions for rape and incest were added when the bill was passed.
During Tuesday’s Senate Medical Affairs Subcommittee meeting, time split evenly for those in favor and opposed to the bill. Some religious leaders in attendance shared their support for the legislation like Mitch Prosser. Prosser is the Lead Pastor for Carolina Baptist Church in Clover.
He said, “Science and common sense tell us that a heartbeat signifies life. If you sit here quietly and listen carefully. You may hear and feel your God-given heartbeat.”
Some mothers like Lacey Layne shared their stories. Her unborn son’s brain was growing out of his skull when she was pregnant with him. Layne and her family had to make a difficult decision. “We chose to end the pregnancy to avoid the possibility of my baby knowing a short life outside of my body filled with pain.”
Layne said no woman should have this decision made for them by politicians. “I shouldn’t have to share my personal experience with strangers in hopes that those that don’t already know it, will finally realize abortion is healthcare.”
A few Republican House members also testified before Senators on Tuesday. Representative Josiah Magnuson (R-Spartanburg) said, “I stand against abortion so passionately because it is the chief example of a violation of human rights.”
Some healthcare professionals like Dr. Judy Burgis testified this bill could have a negative impact on women’s health in the Palmetto State. “This legislation will not help improve the number of practicing Ob/Gyns. In fact, it is likely to reduce the number of Ob/Gyn providers.”
According to data from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, 55% of abortions in South Carolina reported to the agency occurred during or after the 7th week of pregnancy in 2018.
In 2019, 9 states have passed an abortion bill.