South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster promised Wednesday to sign a bill to protect unborn babies from abortion once their heartbeats are detectable.
The pro-life Republican governor joined hundreds of pro-lifers at the Statehouse for a rally calling on the state Senate to pass the heartbeat bill, WCIV reports.
“We have got work to do, and I want to promise you this: the right to life is fundamental to everything we stand for,” McMaster told the crowd. “It’s time now for the Senate to listen to the people of South Carolina … and pass the heartbeat bill.”
State House Bill 3020 requires abortion practitioners to test for an unborn baby’s heartbeat and prohibits the abortion if they detect one. An unborn baby’s heartbeat typically is detectable about six weeks of pregnancy, so the legislation would ban most abortions. It allows exceptions for rape, incest and risks to the mother’s life.
The heartbeat bill passed the state House in April; however, state Senate leaders have said they do not have enough votes to stop pro-abortion Democrats from blocking the legislation. The South Carolina legislature has a two-year session.
According to the AP, the bill would need a two-thirds majority vote to overcome a block, and Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey, a pro-life Republican, said they do not have that many votes.