I wrote earlier this week on how the abortion battle in South Carolina – which is currently being waged in the both the courts and the legislature – was about to get personal.
Actually, check the rearview … it has gotten personal.
While the S.C. supreme court mulls the constitutionality of the 2021 “heartbeat bill” – which until last week was the law of the state – lawmakers are considering a pair of new bills which would dramatically escalate restrictions on abortion in the Palmetto State.
You could literally cut the tension with a knife as state lawmakers prepare to reconvene in Columbia, S.C. early next month for the exclusive purpose of passing one of these new bills.
Last week, the S.C. House of Representatives judiciary committee cleared a piece of legislation (H. 5399) which represents a near-total abortion ban. Meanwhile, a similar ban (S. 1373) being advanced within the State Senate by three “Republican” lawmakers, Richard Cash, Rex Rice and Danny Verdin.
To view the latest legislative maneuvering on the issue, check out this recent report from our director of special projects Dylan Nolan:
(Click to view)
(Via: FITSNews/ YouTube)
Both of the bills pending before the legislature would remove rape and incest exemptions – and effectively extend the abortion prohibition to the moment of conception. Additionally, the Senate bill sponsored by Cash, Rice and Verdin would impose some troubling anti-First Amendment provisions.
As for the heartbeat bill – signed into law by governor Henry McMaster a year ago – it banned a majority of abortions in the Palmetto State once a fetal heartbeat had been detected. The legislation did provide for rape and incest exemptions, however.
All of these bills have advanced to the forefront of the public debate thanks to the repeal of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. supreme court earlier this year. That decision returned authority for the regulation of abortion back to the states.
Of course, as I noted earlier this week, this debate has gotten intensely personal.
First, it was pro-choice advocates threatening to call out “Republican” lawmakers whom they believe are hypocrites on this issue. One of those advocates – businesswoman Lauren Fox of Charleston, S.C. – made a huge splash on this issue by calling out the wife of one of the judiciary committee members who voted to advance the new abortion ban.
According to Fox, this woman previously had an abortion.
Now, these same GOP politicians are getting hit from the other side of the ideological spectrum – and the broadsides are every bit as personal.
Earlier this week, state representative Josiah Magnuson of Campobello, S.C. posted a message to his Facebook page articulating what he believed to be the heart of the matter.
“The elephant in the room is that there are GOP politicians who want abortion in some form to remain legal so that fornication remains an option,” he wrote.
(Click to view)
Wait … fornication? By South Carolina politicians?
Magnuson’s post was making the rounds among both House and Senate GOP caucuses this week, with several legislative leaders reportedly casting a nervous eye at its implications for the coming debate.
Others were harshly critical of Magnuson for “needlessly personalizing the issue,” as one lawmaker angrily told me Thursday morning.
“He has surrendered any claim he had to the moral high ground,” the legislator told me. “He is the real hypocrite here.”
Still others praised Magnuson for “saying the quiet part out loud.”
“Is he wrong?” one Upstate pro-life advocate told me Thursday afternoon.
What do I think of Magnuson’s comment? Well, as I am still in the process of determining how to handle abortion-related allegations that involve people’s personal lives … I am unsure.
One thing is clear, though: As we approach next month’s special session of the S.C. General Assembly, like likelihood of cooler heads prevailing grows increasingly remote.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.
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