MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Members of the pro-life movement in South Carolina are celebrating after the passing of the Fetal Heartbeat Bill, but opponents of the legislation said it restricts women’s rights.
The law already faces legal challenges from organizations that say it’s unconstitutional.
“Our hearts are just racing and full of excitement. At least mine has been all day, knowing that this is finally going to come into existence,” Jeannie Smith said.
Smith and her husband Carter Smith run Coastline Women’s Center in Conway. It’s a pro-life women’s center that provides ultrasounds and counseling to pregnant women.
They said the passing of the Fetal Heartbeat Bill is a big moment for the state’s pro-life movement.
“If we can save 80% of the babies that are being aborted in South Carolina – save those citizens from death – then this is a win for our state, and it’s a win for all of us in South Carolina,” Carter Smith said.
Many feel the exact opposite way.
“The Republican Party is becoming the party that looks for a right to birth but not a right to life,” Horry County Democratic Party Chair Don Kohn said.
Kohn said the law will set both mothers and babies up for hardships.
“Many times when women are forced into these positions, it’s poorer women, and they’re not able to take care of these children, so it could put them in a position of having to be poor for the rest of their lives and their children are likely to follow,” he said.
Kohn believes there should be different solutions for unwanted pregnancies.
“I would hope that we take more of a stand like the state of Colorado took, which was to make birth control more available to women,” he said.