Democrats in the South Carolina State Senate are threatening to filibuster the final six days of the legislative session in order to kill a bill intended to outlaw an abortion procedure which is used to kill an unborn baby by tearing off the child's arms and legs until it bleeds to death.
Opponents of the bill claim that passage of such an act would take options away from women regarding medical care, violate their Constitutional rights, and ultimately endanger mothers. However, the very language of the bill itself creates an explicit exception for procedures "necessary to prevent serious health risk to the unborn child's mother."
The bill would create a felony offense for any physician "who knowingly performs or attempts to perform a dismemberment abortion and thereby kills an unborn child."
The bill further defines a dismemberment abortion as one intended to: "dismember a living unborn child and extract him or her one piece at a time from the uterus through use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments that, through the convergence of two rigid levers, slice, crush, and/or grasp a portion of the unborn child's body to cut or rip it off."
The bill also creates a civil cause of action by which, under certain circumstances, fathers and grandparents of babies killed in such a way may sue doctors for their actions.
“If there’s something so graphic and horrible that we can’t stand to think about it, then perhaps we shouldn’t be doing it..."
Republican Representative Linda "Lin" Bennett initially introduced House Bill 3548, also known as The South Carolina Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act in January of 2017. The bill passed the State House 83-17 last March, and received the green light just last week from the Senate Committee on Medical Affairs.
During the hours of testimony heard by the committee, Dr. Marc Chetta, M.D., of Greenville, S.C., explained the gruesome process of a dismemberment abortion while demonstrating the procedure on a baby doll. Dr. Chetta testified, “If there’s something so graphic and horrible that we can’t stand to think about it, then perhaps we shouldn’t be doing it... If I did this to a pregnant dog, I could be arrested for cruelty to animals, and yet we celebrate this in the U.S. and even pay people to do it.”
While Republicans do hold a 28-18 majority in the Senate, Senate rules require a 3/5 majority to break a filibuster, so a single Republican defector could prevent the bill from coming to a floor vote.
If you live in South Carolina, you can find and encourage your state senator to support H. 3548 HERE.
God forgive us for what we do to one another.