The South Carolina General Assembly is deliberating a bill that would make women who get an abortion eligible for the death penalty, The Hill reported.
It comes several months after a group of Republican state representatives introduced the South Carolina Prenatal Equal Protection Act of 2023, which redefines "person" to include a fertilized egg.
The result is that fetuses would receive equal protection under the state's homicide laws, including the death penalty. An exception is made for women who underwent abortions due to "the threat of imminent death or great bodily injury."
Companion legislation previously passed the upper chamber in February. However, the state House proposal is considered far "stricter," as it does not include the exceptions to rape or incest present in the Senate version.
Thus far, the South Carolina Supreme Court has struck down all Republican attempts to make abortion illegal in the Palmetto State. In a 3-2 vote on Jan. 5, a six-week ban was vetoed by the high court.
Any abortion limitation "must be reasonable and it must ... afford a woman sufficient time to determine she is pregnant and to take reasonable steps to terminate that pregnancy," the conclusion read.
"Six weeks is, quite simply, not a reasonable period of time for these two things to occur, and therefore the Act violates our state Constitution's prohibition against unreasonable invasions of privacy," it added.
At the time, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster condemned the ruling and laid the groundwork for the eventual measures currently being discussed.
"Our State Supreme Court has found a right in our Constitution which was never intended by the people of South Carolina," the Republican governor wrote on Twitter. "With this opinion, the Court has clearly exceeded its authority."
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