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COLUMBIA, South Carolina, February 2, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – South Carolina’s Republican-controlled Senate has passed legislation banning abortion as soon as a fetal heartbeat can be detected, sending the measure to the state House for consideration.

The bill requires anyone committing an abortion to first perform an ultrasound to test for a fetal heartbeat. If one is found, aborting the baby anyway would be a felony for which an abortionist could lose his medical license. The bill contains exceptions for rape, incest, medical threat to the mother, or fetal anomalies deemed “incompatible with life.”

The state Senate passed the bill 30-13, The State reported, with one Republican and one Democrat each breaking ranks to vote opposite their party. The bill is expected to clear the GOP-controlled House without difficulty and be signed into law by Republican Gov. Henry McMaster, who has already declared his support.

“Today was many years in the making and was the result of hard work and a lot of teamwork,” said Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey. “It is a big victory. If this gets upheld by the courts, we will have saved thousands of lives in South Carolina every year.”

But while the bill is likely to become law, whether it will actually take effect is another question.

“This is absolutely shameful. A person’s decision about their own health care should be made between them and their doctor — without government interference,” Planned Parenthood South Atlantic state director of public affairs Vicki Ringer said of the bill. Planned Parenthood is expected to sue to block it, as the abortion giant has done with heartbeat and other pro-life bills all over the country.

Heartbeat laws, which ban abortion well before the Supreme Court’s viability threshold, are generally not expected to ban abortion in the near term, but instead enacted in hopes of provoking a legal battle that would hopefully reach the U.S. Supreme Court and instigate a review of Roe v. Wade, thereby potentially overturning decades of pro-abortion legal precedent and freeing the states to set their own abortion laws. 

Such a case would present the biggest test yet of former President Donald Trump’s three appointees to the Supreme Court, and whether they will help comprise the majority needed to finally overturn Roe.