Republican lawmakers in South Carolina are debating whether to change a controversial bill that would make individuals who receive an abortion eligible for the death penalty.
The bill, which has been dubbed the South Carolina Prenatal Equal Protection Act of 2023, would “ensure that an unborn child who is a victim of homicide is afforded equal protection under the homicide laws of the state,” according to South Carolina General Assembly website.
The bill would also define a “person” as an “unborn child at every stage of development from fertilization until birth.”
There are some exceptions for pregnant people and in cases of emergency
Sadly, South Carolina’s Equal Protection Act does not provide any exceptions for victims of rape or incest.
With the dismantling of Roe V. Wade last year, proponents of the bill are now bracing themselves for more destruction. Rep. Nancy Mace of the first congressional district blasted Republican lawmakers for proposing the restrictive abortion plan.
“To see this debate go to the dark places, the dark edges, where it has gone on both sides of the aisle, has been deeply disturbing to me as a woman, as a female legislator, as a mom, and as a victim of rape,” Mace said, according to The Hill.
Since the fall of Roe, Republican states have been working overtime to place abortion limitations. 18 states have launched near or total bans on the procedure.
As of now, abortion remains constitutional in South Carolina, but Republican lawmakers are determined to change this.
Before the stringent ban went into effect, in 2021 the Food and Drug Administration relaxed some of the tight restrictions placed on one abortion pill called mifepristone, which can end a pregnancy that is less than 10 weeks along. Patients were initially required to pick up the medication at a certified hospital or clinic, but during the pandemic, the Biden Administration changed the protocol, allowing women in abortion-banned states to receive the pill by mail.
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