In what is seen as a victory for some but a compromise to others, South Carolina has passed a complete ban on abortions with the exception of rape or incest. House Bill 5399, which is summarized as “Prohibition of Abortion,” will make it a felony “for anyone who performs or abets an abortion or who uses force or the threat of force to injure or intimidate a person for the purpose of coercing an abortion.”
The bill reads that it “prohibits abortions except to prevent the following” including “the death of the pregnant woman,” “a substantial risk of death for the pregnant woman because of a physical condition,” or “”the substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman.” It also states that “Any physician who performs an abortion for the above exceptions must declare in a written document that the medical procedure was necessary.”
It also allows exceptions for rape or incest, stating “a physician may perform, induce, or attempt to perform or induce an abortion on a pregnant woman if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, and the probable post-fertilization age of the fetus is fewer than twelve weeks.” Any physician who performs the abortion for an alleged rape victim must report the rape within 24 hours to the local sheriff in the county where the abortion was performed and most notify the woman prior to the abortion of this reporting.
The bill does allow for the procedure to be carried out in the case that the pregnancy substantially threatens the life of the mother and rightfully mandates that the “physician shall make reasonable medical efforts under the circumstances to preserve the life of the pregnant woman’s unborn child.”
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While many in the pro-life movement are claiming victory, abortion abolitionists understand that the work is not complete, and allowing exceptions, in any case, is still the legalized murder of an innocent child. There is fundamentally no difference between the innocence and value of human life of an unborn child conceived in rape and one conceived consensually—at no fault of the child, this legislation still allows the former to be sentenced to death.
While it is at least a step in the right direction, decent human beings must press forward. Democrats have vowed to stop this legislation.
The bill now moves to the Senate for a vote and then, if passed, to the desk of SC Governor Henry McMaster. Let’s pray that this life-saving bill passes completely, but also pray that we don’t put our guards down and we continue to fight for every unborn life being murdered in the womb.