A South Carolina bill protecting unborn babies with detectable heartbeats from abortion is headed for the Senate floor and probably faces a 2020 election-year fight. The Senate Medical Affairs Committee voted 9-6 last week to approve the “Fetal Heartbeat Protection from Abortion Act,” which protects an unborn child after cardiac activity is detected, usually about six weeks after conception. Before the vote, the committee restored exceptions for rape or incest and when the mother’s life is in danger. If passed, South Carolina will join states like Louisiana, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Ohio, where similar laws remain tied up in court. —M.J.
Colorado is one of seven states that allows abortion at any stage of pregnancy, but pro-life advocates hope to change that next year. A group called Due Date Too Late is collecting signatures to put an initiative on the state’s ballot next year to protect unborn babies after 22-weeks of gestation. The group needs nearly 125,000 signatures by March 2020.
Under the measure, known as Initiative 120, the state would fine abortionists up to $5,000 for violations and suspend their medical licenses for three years. An exception is allowed when the mother’s life is in danger. Women who receive an abortion after 22 weeks would face no penalty.
Giuliana Day, a co-sponsor of the initiative, hopes to convince Colorado voters that unborn babies at 20 to 22 weeks feel pain and often survive outside the womb.
Nationwide, only 28 percent of Americans support abortion during the second trimester (weeks 13 through 28), and that number drops to 13 percent in the third trimester, according to a Gallup poll.
“It’s time for us to have this conversation,” Day said. “It goes to the heart of our society. This cuts across any political spectrum. This is not about the right or left, it’s about a moral issue.” —M.J.