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‘Conservative Defense’ Group Hopes To Strip Exemptions From South Carolina ‘Heartbeat Bill’

Pro-life campaign takes aim at Senate bill …

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A conservative political advocacy organization is ramping up efforts to advance pro-life legislation at the South Carolina State House. Specifically, the group is pushing state lawmakers to approve an exemption-free version of the “heartbeat bill” – which cleared the State Senate late last month.

That legislation – S. 1 – would ban abortions in the Palmetto State once a fetal heartbeat has been detected, which is usually occurs around six weeks into a pregnancy.

The group – dubbed the Conservative Defense Fund – says it is “committed to fiercely defending our conservative values from the political establishment.”

According to a news release announcing its involvement on this issue, the group wants members of the GOP-controlled House of Representatives to reject the rape and incest exemptions that were included in the Senate bill and pass a clean pro-life law instead.

“It is critical that the leadership in the House and Senate pass the Heartbeat Bill without exceptions,” said the group’s spokeswoman, former state representative Wendy Nanney. “Last year, the voters of South Carolina gave the Republicans a super-majority in both chambers of the legislature because they wanted conservative change, and we expect them to deliver.”

According to the group, the Senate bill is “so riddled with exceptions that it provides no effective protection for unborn children.”

Specifically, the group said the bill “fails to provide any standards for how the required tests will be performed and has only limited requirements to require law enforcement to be notified in cases where the pregnancy is the result of a crime.”

In support of its efforts, the group has launched a statewide radio and social media advertising campaign starring Abby Johnson, a former clinic director for abortion provider Planned Parenthood.

Johnson – now a staunch pro-life activist – is the subject of the movie Unplanned, which documents her conversion on this issue.

Here is the group’s radio advertisement starring Johnson …

(Click to view)

(Via: Conservative Defense Fund)

The bill that cleared the Senate was championed by the chamber’s majority leader Shane Massey, who is using the issue to fuel his nascent 2022 gubernatorial bid. As recently as last year, though, Massey acknowledged the heartbeat bill was “clearly unconstitutional under current interpretation” and that defending the legislation against an inevitable federal lawsuit would require a “lengthy and expensive court battle.”

Which it will …

Massey also clearly underestimated the extent to which social conservatives in the Palmetto State are disinclined to support a heartbeat bill containing exemptions.

As for this news outlet, its founding editor Will Folks has editorialized for years in favor of the right to life – calling it the “indispensable liberty.” He has also railed against the evils of abortion on demand. However, Folks has angered pro-life advocates by endorsing the exemptions contained in the Senate bill.

We will continue to follow track this legislation as it advances through the S.C. General Assembly and toward the desk of governor Henry McMaster, who has said he will sign the legislation.

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