Two “Personhood Acts” were introduced in the South Carolina legislature this week that would criminalize receiving or performing an abortion. State Senator Richard Cash introduced the bill in the Senate on Wednesday, and State Representative Josiah Magnuson introduced a similar bill on Thursday.
The Senate bill reads, “The General Assembly acknowledges that personhood is God-given rather than an endowment of the State. All human beings are created in the image of God and therefore have an equal right to life.” Neither bill includes an exception for pregnancies resulting from rape or for pregnancies harming the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman. The Senate bill explicitly allows doctors to engage in medical procedures to save a pregnant woman’s life that might inadvertently result in the death of the fetus.
A similar bill that included exceptions for rape and risk to the pregnant woman’s life did not pass the Senate last year.
While the debate over abortion never went away, it has been particularly fraught over the past few weeks. The Supreme Court temporarily blocked a Louisiana abortion law on Thursday. Last month New York expanded abortion rights to include certain circumstances in the third trimester.