Featured Image

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (LifeSiteNews) — South Carolina lawmakers advanced a bill in the state’s GOP-dominated legislature this week which would prohibit nearly all abortions if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

The move positions South Carolina among about a dozen other states which have already enacted similar “trigger laws” which would work to immediately ban the killing of unborn babies if the “constitutional right to abortion” established in the Supreme Court’s 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade is struck down, which could come as early as this summer.

On Wednesday a subcommittee of South Carolina’s legislature reviewed the measure, known as the “Equal Protection for Unborn Babies Act,” in a meeting in which lawmakers also heard public feedback.

The proposal gained a favorable response Wednesday and will be forwarded to another subcommittee for additional scrutiny.

South Carolina’s Republican Gov. Henry McMaster has already signaled he is favorable toward pro-life legislation, earning the backing of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List during his run for the governorship and signing an executive order while in office banning taxpayer dollars from being used to fund abortions.

McMaster has also led the charge to support Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban which is the subject of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a crucial abortion case on the docket of the U.S. Supreme Court which could result in the reversal of Roe v. Wade.

If signed into law, South Carolina’s new measure would amount to a near total ban on abortion within the state, prohibiting not only surgical abortions but chemical abortions as well.

According to the text, a doctor who commits an abortion in violation of the law would be charged with murder.

While there are no exceptions for rape or incest, the bill would allow an exception if an abortion was determined necessary to save the life of a mother. However, many pro-life advocates argue that there is never a circumstance in which abortion is medically necessary.

The bill is sponsored by Republican Senator Richard Cash, who explained that the bedrock assumption of the proposal is that unborn babies are people with fundamental rights.

“Obviously, if you don’t believe an unborn baby is a human being or has constitutional rights to life, then you’re probably not going to be in favor of this bill,” Cash said during the Wednesday subcommittee review.

The sweeping pro-life law follows a similarly ambitious measure which was passed into law in South Carolina last year and bans abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected (usually around six weeks gestation).

The legislation, which is similar to Texas’s well-known Heartbeat Act, has been held up in the courts since big-dollar abortion chain Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit against the state. This week the matter was sent to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit for consideration.

Meanwhile, the “Equal Protection for Unborn Babies Act” wasn’t the only pro-life legislative proposal reviewed this week in South Carolina.

Wednesday’s subcommittee meeting also reviewed a proposal which would require doctors to inform women about abortion pill reversal protocols if they request a chemical abortion.

According to its proponents, the Abortion Pill Reversal protocol boasts a 64-68% success rate. The process, which uses the FDA-approved drug progesterone to block the lethal effects of the abortion drugs, has been credited with saving more than 2,000 babies thus far despite facing challenges from pro-abortion advocates and censorship by big tech organizations.

Both proponents and opponents of the measure contributed their perspectives during the meeting.

One Columbia-based OB/GYN argued “there is no scientific evidence” that the progesterone treatment works, contending that no studies have been done to prove the method is safe and effective.

However, the OB/GYN was countered by a physician who said he has prescribed the treatment multiple times and seen success in roughly two thirds of instances, a success rate which aligns with that reported by the Abortion Pill Rescue Network.

The subcommittee also heard from a mother, Manuela Timenez, who brought her 18-month-old baby to the meeting. Timenez said her child had been saved by the abortion pill reversal protocol and just wants “there to be an option for women like me.”

Meanwhile, South Carolina isn’t the first state to make headlines in recent days for introducing sweeping new legislative proposals which could ban nearly all abortions within state borders.

Last week South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem introduced two pro-life bill drafts in her state: one that would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected and another which would prohibit the distribution of abortion drugs through the mail.

The proposals could result in a formal ban on nearly all abortions in the Mount Rushmore State.

Moves to position state legislation in order to ban abortions have increased in recent months in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson, with both pro-abortion and pro-life advocates recognizing that the Court could strike down Roe v. Wade if it rules in favor of Mississippi’s pro-life law.

A decision is expected in Dobbs this summer.