Lawmakers spent several hours in the 2018 session debating the topic and now with just 12 days left before the start of the 2019 legislative session lawmakers are hoping the bill will pass this time around.
There are two bills already on file for the 2019 legislative session concerning abortion and access to the procedure here in the state. Similar bills failed in the statehouse in the 2018 session, but now lawmakers are feeling lucky.
S.C. Representative Josiah Magnuson (R) of Spartanburg said, “Personhood is gaining momentum right now. the governor has committed to sign it. The attorney general has committed to defend it in court.”
And several South Carolina lawmakers are hoping that momentum and support will help to get two abortion bills passed in the 2019 legislative session.
One bill prohibits an abortion once a heartbeat is detected and creates criminal penalties. The other bill, The Personhood Bill, classifies a person at conception. Supporters of the bill say personhood guarantees that unborn child protection and equal rights under the law.
Magnuson explained, “I believe protecting individual rights is the highest responsibility of the state and the right to life is given to us by our creator. some people would argue is this an important topic. I think it is.”
The Personhood Bill does address the safety of a pregnant woman and allows for medical exceptions,
however, the bill in its current language does not address rape or incest.
Governor Henry McMaster is also on board with the Personhood Bill. He vowed early in his campaign to sign the legislation if it makes it to his desk.