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South Carolina passes heartbeat bill


Republican Rep. Melissa Lackey Oremus speaks in favor of the heartbeat bill in Columbia, S.C., on Wednesday. Associated Press/Photo by Jeffrey Collins

South Carolina passes heartbeat bill

As the South Carolina House debated whether to protect most babies from abortion, almost all Democratic members walked out of the chamber—though they returned for the vote. The representatives on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed the heartbeat bill, which already made it through the Senate. The measure only faces a procedural vote on Thursday that is unlikely to change the outcome. Republican Gov. Henry McMaster has promised to sign the bill quickly.

What does it do? Before performing an abortion, doctors will have to do an ultrasound to make sure the baby has no heartbeat yet. The measure will protect all babies with detectable heartbeats except in cases of rape, incest, or danger to the mother’s life. Court battles will likely tie up the law’s enforcement, but pro-life advocates hope it will end up before the Supreme Court, where a conservative majority could overturn Roe v. Wade.

Dig deeper: Read my analysis of how heartbeat bills have fared in the courts in Vitals.


Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is a former assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.

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