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South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster signed the “fetal heartbeat” bill into law on Thursday, a day after the legislation passed the state lower chamber.

“Today, we made history. The Heartbeat Bill is now the law of South Carolina and we will defend it with everything in us because there is nothing more important than protecting the sanctity of life!” McMaster (R) said in a statement on Twitter.

The law, known as the South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act, will ban most abortions in the state once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is usually at around six weeks of pregnancy. The House gave its approval to the bill in a 79–35 vote on Wednesday. The Senate had already passed the bill in late January.


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South Carolina joins dozens of states such as Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Ohio that have passed their own version of the “heartbeat bills” in recent years.

Several courts across the country have already invalidated the “heartbeat bill.”

In June last year, the Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana law that required doctors who perform abortions to have hospital admitting privileges close to where the procedure takes place.

The requirements under the law are subjected to exceptions when a medical emergency exists.

An abortionist who violates the law may be guilty of a felony and can be fined $10,000 and possibly face jail time of up to two years. The bill will not punish a pregnant woman for having an illegal abortion.




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