Big pro-life victory in South Carolina

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South Carolina lawmakers don't appear ready to debate a bill that would ban nearly all abortions this session, but abortion opponents are pushing some other related restrictions. (Photo: Getty Images)

The South Carolina Senate on Jan. 28 voted 30-13 for a bill that would make abortion illegal after the fetus’ heartbeat has been detected. As conservatives celebrated leaping the legislative barrier and likely turning the bill into law, they said they are not finished trying to abortion completely, ABC News reports.

The ultimate goal is a so-called “personhood law,” which would specify that life starts at conception. It would give a fetus the rights of any citizen and require “due process of law” under the U.S. Constitution to take its life. Other states have passed similar or even more stringent abortion laws, but none has gone to that extent.

Fetal heartbeat becomes detectable at around six weeks after conception, often before women know they’re pregnant.

The proposal hasn’t been able to get out the chamber for several years, and now goes to the House, which has passed similar proposals in previous sessions. South Carolina’s governor has said he will sign it.

The “South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act” isn’t the only abortion-related bill at the General Assembly.

At least eight others have been filed, including House and Senate bills to declare life begins at conception and other proposals including requiring doctors to tell women who are given pills to cause an abortion that the procedure can be reversed after one dose. Also included is a ban on a rare procedure called dismemberment abortion.

Rep. John McCravy, who often takes the lead on abortion restrictions in the House, wants abortion banned in South Carolina too. But the Greenwood Republican expects the House to not change the bill the Senate passed this week to make it more restrictive. Any change would have to be approved again by the Senate.

McCravy isn’t sure the House will look at any other abortion legislation this year. But with a two-year session, he said there is plenty of time.

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