South Carolina becomes the latest GOP-led state with a bill to make the death penalty a punishment for abortion

An exterior view of the South Carolina State House, Columbia

An exterior view of the South Carolina State House, ColumbiaEpics/Getty Images

  • Several states have banned and criminalized abortion since the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade fell.

  • A South Carolina lawmaker proposed the death penalty as a punishment for women who obtain abortions.

  • The new law, which is still in the legislature, would equate abortion with murder.

South Carolina is the latest GOP-led state to propose legislation that would make the death penalty a penalty for abortion.

State Assemblyman Rob Harris last week introduced the South Carolina Prenatal Equal Protection Act of 2023, which could equate abortion to murder. The bill was tabled in December and is now in the Judiciary Committee.

“What I did the other day is I took the opportunity while the rest of the House was dealing with H. 3774, Human Life Protection Act, another bill. I put the first amendment to this bill as we were working it on the ground and I was trying to change it to basically scrap the whole thing and replace it with my bill,” Harris told WBTW.

South Carolina state law currently punishes abortions with up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000. The new law would serve to define a fetus as any developmental stage of a person who “should be protected equally from fertilization until natural death.”

The bill states that its purpose was to “ensure that an unborn child who is the victim of an ATTACK receives the same protections under the state’s personal injury laws, with exceptions.”

“If we call it life and define it as life, why should anyone, not just mothers, be able to take that life? If it’s life, it needs to be protected like any other life,” Harris told WPDE.

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Vicki Ringer, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood, criticized the bill.

“It’s a hard pill for anyone to swallow,” Ringer told WBTW. “Realizing that you are not valuable. Calling this equal protection is far from being equal. It gives greater weight to a fertilized egg, embryo or fetus than to a human. You can think of a fetus as one person, but you cannot assume that they carry more weight than the living person who has a fully lived life on this planet.

The development comes as at least 13 states banned abortion after the Supreme Court ruled last June in Roe v. pick up calf.

The penalty is one of the harshest, but this isn’t the first time a state legislature has proposed the death penalty for abortion. In March 2021, Texas State Assemblyman Bryan Slaton proposed legislation that would ban and criminalize abortion, which could be punishable by death, the Texas Tribune reported. The bill, similar to the past, did not pass the state legislature.

Harris did not respond to Insider’s email request for comment at the time of publication.

Read the original article on Business Insider


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