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Human Life Protection Act Passes House 67-35 on Third Reading, on to Senate

by | Aug 31, 2022

By Holly Gatling, Executive Director, South Carolina Citizens for Life

COLUMBIA, S.C. (Wednesday, August 31) The Human Life Protection Act (H 5399) received third and final reading Wednesday in the South Carolina House of Representatives and now moves to the Senate next week for further action.

Lisa Van Riper, president of South Carolina Citizens for Life, praised House passage of the Human Life Protection Act as “another milestone to becoming law. It will protect children in the earliest stages of life and their mothers. The bill will prevent abortion from being used for social, economic, and birth control reasons.”

On Tuesday, the Human Life Protection Act received second reading in the House with a vote of 67-38. Second reading generally is considered the vote that assures a bill will pass. After nearly eight hours of debate, with numerous amendments offered intended to weaken the legislation, a vote was taken, and the bill failed because it did not have an exception for rape and incest. A motion to reconsider the bill was accepted, and the House then added a narrowly drawn amendment to allow abortion in the case of rape or incest that is reported to law enforcement.

“This is a victory for our Family Caucus and our pro-life conservatives,” said Representative John McCravy, R-Greenwood, chairman of the House Family Caucus and chief sponsor of the Human Life Protection Act. “More importantly, this bill makes the statement that South Carolina will protect the least of these – those in the womb who cannot speak for themselves. I am hopeful the Senate will act quickly so our pro-life Governor Henry McMaster can sign it into law without delay.”

The Human Life Protection Act is strongly supported by South Carolina Citizens for Life, Palmetto Family, the Catholic Diocese of Charleston, the South Carolina Baptist Convention, Alliance Defending Freedom, Concerned Women for America, the South Carolina Republican Party, and numerous doctors, lawyers, pastors, and individuals who believe the right to life of unborn members of our human family must be legally protected. Under current state law, the unborn have the same human rights as garbage. The remains of aborted babies are legally classified as medical waste.

“We thank Representative John McCravy for his commitment to this legislation, and Representative Tommy Pope for his leadership guiding and overseeing the floor debate on Tuesday,” said Michael Acquilano, Secretary for Communications and Public Affairs for the South Carolina Catholic Conference. “It is time to usher a new era in South Carolina where the right to life is protected for all preborn children and new and expecting mothers are cared for and supported. The Church makes an unwavering commitment to support and provide resources for all those in need of care, healing, and love.”

The bill requires fathers to provide child support from the beginning of pregnancy through the child’s 18th birthday.

The vote was largely along party lines with one Democrat, Jackie “Coach” Hayes of Dillon, voting to restore legal protection to children waiting to be born in South Carolina.

Categories: State Legislation
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