COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - While the debate over the ‘Fetal Heartbeat Bill’ took place on the inside of the statehouse, and a protest took place on the outside.
Roughly 40 protestors, organized in part by Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network (WREN), the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, brought signs, chanted, and called for the lawmakers to reject the bill.
The Republican majority in the House of Representatives advanced the bill Wednesday afternoon, and it’s expected to be signed by Governor Henry McMaster.
WREN CEO Ann Warner said protestors expected the outcome, but the need to protest remained.
“What we want is for people to be aware of what’s going on, and that it’s an extreme and dangerous abortion ban is about to pass in South Carolina,” she said.
Protestors took turns speaking to the crowd, questioning the ethics and constitutionality of the bill. Speakers said the ban would not end abortions in the state, just legal abortions.
“Bans like this make it more dangerous to be pregnant in South Carolina,” Warner said.
Protestor Elaine Cooper said the ban will end up costing South Carolina, as the ban is expected to face legal challenges.
“Why waste our money, our taxpayers, our voter’s money, our citizen’s money on an unconstitutional ban?” she said
At one point, a small group of protestors walked up the stairs and began shouting at representatives through the window.
After a few minutes, they retreated back down to the bottom of the steps.
Democratic lawmakers later walked down to the group to give encouragement and urge that the action be turned to 2022 electoral results.
Rep. Justin Bamberg (D-Bamberg County) said it’s an issue of privacy.
“Can’t tell you the number of calls and messages you get. You are anti-life. Come on. I’m pro-life. I’m pro-life. I’m just more pro-mind your own damn business and let these women make our decisions for themselves, in their own household, with the advice of their doctor,” he said.
The protest was peaceful and without a counter-demonstration.