2023-2024 Legislative Update Week 19: Special Session to Protect Life
Updated: May 23
🤰Significant Pro-Life Legislation PASSED to Protect the Unborn:
I am proud to report that House Republicans passed the pro-life, "Fetal Heartbeat Bill" which restricts abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat and reinforces our unwavering dedication to uphold the most sacred and fundamental inalienable right—the right to life.
The pressing need to address this issue became apparent as neighboring states recently implemented stricter abortion laws. North Carolina, for example, approved a ban on most abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy, which would have left South Carolina as the sole state in the Southeast where abortions remained easily accessible. Recognizing this urgency, a House panel hearing was convened to review S.474, the revised version of the "Fetal Heartbeat Bill" previously passed by the Senate.
After extensive deliberation during a special House Session that lasted over 25 hours, the bill was passed with a vote of 82-33, largely along party lines. This achievement underscores our resolute commitment to safeguarding the lives of the unborn and ensures that South Carolina does not become an abortion destination state. The bill will now head back to the Senate, where I am confident the 28 pro-life Senators who voted for the bill earlier this year will concur with the House and send it to the Governor for his signature.
S.474 introduces various changes to existing state legislation, including requirements for testing for a fetal heartbeat before performing an abortion, enhanced informed consent provisions, and exceptions for medical emergencies, sexual assault, and fatal fetal anomalies. The bill also addresses penalties for violations and encompasses provisions related to state funds, health insurance coverage, and child support. This momentous step in protecting the sanctity of life reflects our unwavering dedication to the pro-life cause and upholding the principles entrusted to us by the citizens of South Carolina.
🏁 Ratification ➡️ Governor’s Desk ➡️ State Law:
The final stop for legislation is ratification and receipt of the Governor’s signature. This week several bills were enrolled for ratification, and many were signed by the governor, marking the culmination of months of dedicated efforts to pass robust legislation that will positively impact South Carolinians.
Enrolled for Ratification
S.399 - DHEC Restructuring
H.3726 - Statewide Education and Workforce Development Act
S.284 - Workforce Housing
Signed by the Governor
S.164 - CON Repeal
S.363 - ‘Carolina Squat’ Ban
H.3797 - Military Temporary Remote School Enrollment Act
H.4122 - Administration of Lifesaving Medication in Schools
H.3583 - Sexual Extortion ‘Gavin’s Law’
The House will reconvene in the coming weeks to finalize the 2023-2024 budget, which is currently in conference committee, and address other important outstanding legislation.