One Abortion Bill Passes, Others Get Hearing at SC Statehouse - WSPA.com

One Abortion Bill Passes, Others Get Hearing at SC Statehouse

Posted: Updated:
Sen. Lee Bright, R-Spartanburg, left, talks after the hearing on his abortion bills. Sen. Lee Bright, R-Spartanburg, left, talks after the hearing on his abortion bills.
COLUMBIA, S.C. - A South Carolina Senate subcommittee approved a bill Thursday aimed at closing abortion clinics, while a different subcommittee took no votes but heard from the public on other bills aimed at outlawing abortions.

The bill that passed would require doctors performing abortions to be board certified in obstetrics and gynecology. It would also require any abortion not performed in a hospital to be done by the pregnant woman’s attending physician, and the doctor must have admitting privileges at a local hospital. Critics say those limits would effectively shut down abortion clinics in the state.

Having passed in subcommittee, that bill now goes to a full Senate committee.

Other abortion-related bills got a public hearing in another Senate subcommittee Thursday morning.

One bill , called the “Pregnant Women’s Protection Act,” says, “A pregnant woman is justified in using physical force or deadly physical force against another person to protect her unborn child if, under the circumstances, she has a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily injury to herself or her unborn child."

At the public hearing, Victoria Middleton, executive director of the ACLU in South Carolina, told senators the bill is unnecessary. "A pregnant woman who acts in self-defense out of fear for her pregnancy would also be acting out of fear for her own safety. There is no need to add an additional redundant statute when the laws of the state already address the circumstances in which a person may act in their own defense."

But Chandra Cleveland-Jennings, a former law enforcement officer, told senators, "I have three statements from young ladies, who I helped in the past about domestic violence and them having to fight during their pregnancy, and all three of these young ladies that I have a statement from, that I can leave with you, was arrested because they tried to protect themselves during the pregnancy."

Sen. Katrina Shealy, R-Lexington, is the sponsor of the bill. She says, "A lot of those things do fall under the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law and those type things. But I think pregnant women, being the most vulnerable, do deserve special consideration when it comes to protecting themselves and their unborn child."

Critics also say the bill would ban abortions and even birth control pills because one section of the bill says, “’Unborn child' means the offspring of human beings from conception until birth.”

Melissa Reed, vice president for Planned Parenthood in South Carolina, told senators, "If enacted, this so-called 'personhood' language could interfere with personal, private medical decisions related to decisions about birth control, access to fertility treatments, management of a miscarriage, and access to safe and legal abortion."

But pro-life activists like Rev. Johnny Gardner say that’s the point, and support the bill. He told senators, "If you don't protect these innocent children, you are accountable to God and their innocent blood is on your hands. If South Carolina does not protect these children, then innocent blood is on our hands and South Carolina will continue to be under the judgment of God." 

The other two bills are virtually identical and say the right to life begins at fertilization, which would outlaw abortions.

Sen. Lee Bright, R-Spartanburg, the main sponsor, says he thinks the bills would be upheld as constitutional. "In the Roe v. Wade arguments, they said they didn't know when life begins. So if a state puts in statute this is when life begins, then obviously that kicks out the legs from the stool," he said after the public hearing.

The subcommittee did not vote on the bills but chairman Sen.  Chip Campsen promised another hearing.

  • Most Viewed Stories on WSPA.com

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Mystery of Death Valley's moving rocks solved

    Mystery of Death Valley's moving rocks solved

    Thursday, August 28 2014 3:20 PM EDT2014-08-28 19:20:23 GMT
    For years scientists have theorized about how large rocks some weighing hundreds of pounds zigzag across Racetrack Playa in Death Valley National Park, leaving long trails etched in the earth.
    For years scientists have theorized about how large rocks some weighing hundreds of pounds zigzag across Racetrack Playa in Death Valley National Park, leaving long trails etched in the earth.
  • Federal court filings show holes used for sex acts inside Bristol adult novelty store

    Federal court filings show holes used for sex acts inside Bristol adult novelty store

    Thursday, August 28 2014 1:58 AM EDT2014-08-28 05:58:06 GMT
    Federal court documents reveal in the past, the owner of an adult novelty store on State Street in Bristol, Va. was selling more than just lingerie, pornography and synthetic drugs. Instead, pictures filed at the federal courthouse in Greeneville earlier this month show waist-high holes in private rooms inside Exotic Illusions.
    Federal court documents reveal in the past, the owner of an adult novelty store on State Street in Bristol, Va. was selling more than just lingerie, pornography and synthetic drugs. Instead, pictures filed at the federal courthouse in Greeneville earlier this month show waist-high holes in private rooms inside Exotic Illusions.
  • August Mugshots

    August Mugshots

    Monday, August 11 2014 4:01 PM EDT2014-08-11 20:01:35 GMT
    August arrests in Upstate South Carolina and western North Carolina.
    August arrests in Upstate South Carolina and western North Carolina.
  • Top StoriesTop StoriesMore>>

  • Gamecocks Lose Season Opener 52-28 to Texas A&M

    Gamecocks Lose Season Opener 52-28 to Texas A&M

    Thursday, August 28 2014 9:52 PM EDT2014-08-29 01:52:41 GMT
    Aggies beat USC 52-28 on Thursday night ending the Gamecocks' 18 game home winning streak.Aggies beat USC 52-28 on Thursday night ending the Gamecocks' 18 game home winning streak.
    No. 21 Texas A&M beats No. 9 South Carolina 52-28 in USC's home opener on Thursday night, ending the Gamecocks' 18-game home win streak.
    No. 21 Texas A&M beats No. 9 South Carolina 52-28 in USC's home opener on Thursday night, ending the Gamecocks' 18-game home win streak.
  • Pedestrian Dead After Deputy Involved Wreck In Greenville Co.

    Pedestrian Dead After Deputy Involved Wreck In Greenville Co.

    Thursday, August 28 2014 9:10 PM EDT2014-08-29 01:10:52 GMT
    Investigators say the man was crossing the road when he walked in front of a car at Augusta Road and Old Augusta Road near Interstate 85 around 5:30 a.m. The victim was killed after being hit by several vehicles, including a deputy's.
    Investigators say the man was crossing the road when he walked in front of a car at Augusta Road and Old Augusta Road near Interstate 85 around 5:30 a.m. The victim was killed after being hit by several vehicles, including a deputy's.
  • Reward Offered For Greer Firearms Theft

    Reward Offered For Greer Firearms Theft

    Thursday, August 28 2014 7:01 PM EDT2014-08-28 23:01:09 GMT
    The ATF is joining other organizations in offering a reward to help solve a firearms theft in Greer in July. Photo Courtesy Greer PDThe ATF is joining other organizations in offering a reward to help solve a firearms theft in Greer in July. Photo Courtesy Greer PD

    The ATF is joining other organizations in offering a reward to help solve a firearms theft in Greer in July.

    The ATF is joining other organizations in offering a reward to help solve a firearms theft in Greer in July.

Powered by WorldNow

250 International Dr.
Spartanburg, S.C. 29303

Telephone: 864.576.7777
Fax: 864.587.5430
Email: webmaster@wspa.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.