South Carolina legislature passes ‘heartbeat’ bill banning abortion after six weeks

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(Washington Examiner) The South Carolina House of Representatives passed a six-week abortion ban along partisan lines late on Wednesday, and the bill is expected to be signed by Gov. Henry McMaster (R-SC) next week.

The measure is the latest in a wave of legislation in red states restricting abortion in the wake of the Dobbs v. Jackson Supreme Court decision in June 2022.


The measure, Senate Bill 474, passed the state Senate in February, 28 to 21. The amended House version of the bill passed 82 to 32 after Democratic members filed over 1,000 amendments to the original legislation.

State Representative John McCravy, a Republican and president of the House Family Caucus, said the bill “is the best pro-life bill we can pass in South Carolina at this moment in time … [N]ot only [will it] save thousands of lives, it will prevent South Carolina from becoming a destination state for abortion.”

The bill defines a fetal heartbeat as a “key medical predictor that an unborn child will reach live birth” and identifies “a compelling interest” for the state “in protecting the health of the woman and the life of the unborn child.”

S.B. 474 requires abortion providers to perform an ultrasound and document that the images and full findings of the ultrasound have been shown to the mother before…

South Carolina legislature passes ‘heartbeat’ bill banning abortion after six weeks | Washington Examiner