Understanding South Carolina’s Heartbeat Bill

The South Carolina Heartbeat Bill seeks to provide protections to a pre-born child from an abortion once a heartbeat is detected.

Many states are engaged in the battle over pre-born life. Palmetto Family proudly stands with anyone in the Palmetto State who supports protections for these precious lives.

As part of our efforts to support the right to life, we have analyzed every pro-life bill that has been filed in the South Carolina General Assembly during the current legislative session. Our goal is to inform our readers about these bills and to give them an understanding of their purpose. We believe life is a precious gift from our Creator and that it should be valued and protected under the law from conception to natural death. That’s why we support any and all efforts to reduce abortion in South Carolina.

One bill that will do just that is the SC Fetal Heartbeat Protection from Abortion Act (H.3020), better known as the “Heartbeat Bill.” Representative John McCravy from Greenwood, South Carolina, introduced this important legislation.

Perhaps you’ve heard in the news that heartbeat bills have passed in other states earlier this year – specifically, in Georgia and Ohio. The introduction and passage of these bills is a response, in part, to New York’s aggressive pro-choice bill which allows an unborn child to be aborted up until its live birth.

The South Carolina Heartbeat Bill seeks to accomplish two main goals. First, it provides protections to a pre-born child from an abortion once a heartbeat is detected. This would prevent nearly all abortions in the Palmetto State since the heartbeat can be detected around the 5th or 6th week of pregnancy.

The second goal of the bill is to require that doctors check for the heartbeat of the child so that when a heartbeat is detected, the child immediately receives full protections under the law. Additionally, the bill only gives one exception: the life of the mother.

Of course, every bill passed by the South Carolina General Assembly is subject to challenges in the courts, and the Heartbeat Bill/Law would be no exception. However, Palmetto Family believes the South Carolina Heartbeat Bill stands a good chance of being upheld in its entirety when challenged in the courts.

Unfortunately, that will not stop those in the pro-choice camp from challenging the Heartbeat Bill, or any other pro-life legislation. Wisely, the South Carolina Heart Bill is drafted in such a way so that in the event of a court challenge, the second portion of the bill would remain intact even if the first section does not pass in the courts.

That portion of the bill is an inform and disclosure provision. In other words, if a mother wished to have an abortion performed, a medical professional would be required to inform her of the child’s heartbeat and allow her the opportunity to listen to the heartbeat if she desires.

Overwhelming evidence shows that a mother is less likely to terminate her pregnancy if she has the chance to hear her child’s heartbeat.

We thank Representative John McCravy and the many co-sponsors for introducing and supporting this life-saving bill.

To learn more about the bill, listen to the latest episode of Faith and Family Statehouse Update where I discuss the SC Fetal Heartbeat Protection from Abortion Act with Representative McCravy.

And after you listen to this episode, will you take two minutes to defend life in South Carolina? Palmetto Family has launched a pro-life petition which gives you an effective opportunity to tell our state leaders and your fellow South Carolinians that you believe our state should defend the right to life.

Pro-Life Petition

Last year alone, almost 6,000 babies were aborted in South Carolina. That means thousands of precious humans never had the fundamental opportunity to experience life.

We believe that number should be zero in South Carolina, but to make that happen we need your help!

Ever since Palmetto Family joined the fight over 20 years ago we’ve seen encouraging results. We’ve seen the number of abortions cut by more than half, we’ve banned the most disgusting forms of abortion, we’ve used the law to increase protections for the unborn and we’ve closed and minimized funding for abortion providers. Though we’ve accomplished so much, there is so much more to do!

All these victories show that progress can be made, but only if the citizens of South Carolina stand up and demand that our state protect life. 

Please sign this petition now to tell our state leaders and your fellow South Carolinians that you believe life is something we ought to protect!

Joshua Putnam

President of Palmetto Family