Setting a new precedent, South Carolina has banned the majority of abortions in the state after Governor Henry McMaster signed the South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act into law.
The law, which is similar to legislation passed in several other states including Ohio, Kentucky, Iowa, and North Dakota, makes it illegal to perform an abortion once a heartbeat is detected. Generally, a heartbeat can be detected around the sixth week of pregnancy which is before most women know that they’re pregnant.
The law does, however, allow for exceptions including rape or when the mother’s life is at risk.
While the law is still quite a stretch from complete abolition — the only morally acceptable abortion law — it is certainly a drastic move and one that has, at least for now, found its way around the dissolute Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade.
South Carolina’s Republican attorney general, Alan Wilson said in a statement that he would “vigorously defend” the lawsuit “because there is nothing more important than protecting life.”
Several attempts at abolition have been made over the years. In states like Oklahoma, so-called “pro-lifers” joined with the pro-choice camp to reject a bill that would abolish abortion. Southern Baptist president, JD Greear also joined the cause against the abolition movement.