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Mahmoud Bennett

Social Media Producer/Reporter

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Politics

South Carolina lawmakers push bill to link abortion to homicide

Mar 14, 2023

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Mahmoud Bennett

Social Media Producer/Reporter

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Republican lawmakers in South Carolina have proposed a bill that seeks to redefine the term “person” to include the unborn. The South Carolina Prenatal Equal Protection Act of 2023 would consider an “unborn child” which is aborted at any stage of development the victim of homicide, with protections afforded under the state’s assault laws.

The change to the state’s criminal code would effectively make a person who gets an abortion eligible for the death penalty, as reported by The Hill. The bill provides exceptions for abortion if a woman is under the imminent threat of death or great bodily injury but does not include exceptions for rape or incest.

Currently, South Carolina allows abortions up to 22 weeks. Murder is a crime punishable by death or a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment for thirty years to life, according to South Carolina’s current criminal code.

Other states, including Texas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, have recently introduced similar bills linking abortion with homicide, while Louisiana attempted to pass such a law last year but failed. However, Louisiana does have existing laws that make performing or inducing an abortion punishable by imprisonment with hard labor for up to five years.

This trend of restricting access to and punishing abortion follows the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision last year that overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022. Currently, 18 states have imposed near or total abortion bans, with varying penalties for breaking the law in each of those states. Eight states have had their bans blocked, while 26 states have varying degrees of legalized abortion.

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MAHMOUD BENNETT:

SOME PLACES IN THE COUNTRY HAVE TOUGHER PENALTIES THAN OTHERS: WHAT MIGHT LAND YOU A SIMPLE FINE IN ONE STATE COULD LAND YOU JAIL TIME IN ANOTHER

BUT IF YOU’RE A HEALTHY WOMAN IN SOUTH CAROLINA WHO CHOOSES TO TERMINATE A PREGNANCY – THAT COULD LAND YOU A DEATH PENALTY UNDER A NEW PROPOSAL

21 REPUBLICAN STATE LAWMAKERS  ARE PUSHING FOR A CHANGE THAT WOULD RE-DEFINE THE MEANING OF A *PERSON* UNDER STATE LAW TO INCLUDE A FERTILIZED EGG – *AN EGG* THAT WOULD BE ELIGIBLE FOR FULL PROTECTION UNDER SOUTH CAROLINA’S HOMICIDE LAWS

IN SHORT DESTROYING A ZYGOTE WOULD MEAN MURDERING A PERSON –  MURDER IS A CRIME PUNISHABLE BY DEATH, OR A MANDATORY MINIMUM TERM OF IMPRISONMENT FOR THIRTY YEARS TO LIFE ACCORDING TO SOUTH CAROLINA’S CURRENT CRIMINAL CODE

WHILE THE BILL PROVIDES ABORTION EXCEPTIONS IF A WOMAN IS UNDER THE IMMINENT THREAT OF DEATH OR GREAT BODILY INJURY – IT DOES NOT HAVE ANY EXCEPTIONS FOR RAPE OR INCEST

RIGHT NOW ABORTION IS LEGAL IN SOUTH CAROLINA THROUGH 22 WEEKS – BUT THIS PUSH BY SOME LAWMAKERS FOLLOWS A TREND OF STATES LOOKING TO PUNISH THE ACT

RECENT BILLS INTRODUCED IN ARKANSAS, TEXAS AND KENTUCKY ARE ALSO LOOKING TO LINK ABORTION TO HOMICIDE – A CRIME SIMILARLY PUNISHABLE BY DEATH IN EACH OF THOSE STATES 

MEANWHILE CURRENT LAWS IN LOUISIANA MAKE PERFORMING OR INDUCING AN ABORTION A CRIME WORTHY OF IMPRISONMENT WITH HARD LABOR FOR UP TO FIVE YEARS

ACCORDING TO THE NEW YORK TIMES – 18 STATES HAVE IMPOSED NEAR OR TOTAL ABORTION BANS – WITH VARYING PENALTIES FOR BREAKING THE LAW IN EACH OF THOSE STATES – 8 STATES HAVE HAD THEIR BANS BLOCKED – WHILE 26 STATES HAVE ABORTION LEGAL TO CERTAIN DEGREES

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