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Gov. Haley signs Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

COLUMBIA—Republican Gov. Nikki Haley signed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act on May 25, making South Carolina the 14th state to enact the pro-life legislation.

The bill, passed last week by the state legislature, protects unborn children from abortions after 20 weeks fetal age and is based on scientific evidence that reveals an unborn child can feel pain early in its development.

Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone said it is a positive step in acknowledging and protecting the humanity of an unborn child. He added that there is still much to accomplish and encouraged people to continue advocating for life issues.

“I applaud the governor in swiftly signing this life-affirming legislation that will protect dozens of lives,” Bishop Guglielmone said. “As faithful people we are called to stand up for the voiceless and vulnerable. Our governor has taken a strong stance on the issue of life and for that I am very grateful.”

Opponents of the bill protest that the only exceptions are if the mother’s life is in jeopardy or a doctor determines the fetus can’t survive outside the womb. There are no exceptions for rape or incest after 20 weeks. Also, doctors who perform abortions after 20 weeks face up to $10,000 in fines and 3 years in prison for each violation.

Michael Acquilano, director of S.C. Catholic Conference, said the Diocese of Charleston has been advocating for the legislation since 2014, and said the controversy surrounding the pain-capable bill is unfounded. He noted that all exceptions were debated and testimony provided by both viewpoints.

“As Catholics, we know that the nature of our conception does not determine our worth,” Acquilano said.
He also praised the effect that can be seen by the increase in laws that protect the right to life, stating that, “Abortions have declined by 57 percent in South Carolina in direct correlation to the passage of 14 life-protecting laws.”

The South Carolina House of Representatives passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act 79-29 on May 17, following the lead of the Senate, which approved the measure last March 36-9.

The legislation is sponsored by S.C. Citizens for Life and follows the model drafted by the National Right to Life’s Department of State Legislation. Mary Spaulding Balch, director of NRL, also praised the action.

“The smallest and most vulnerable members of our human family need our protection, and South Carolina has taken a vital step to save unborn children who are capable of feeling the excruciating pain of abortions,” she told NRL News Today.

South Carolina is among 17 states to pass an abortion ban, but court action has blocked laws in three states. The U.S. Supreme Court has not ruled on the ban’s constitutionality.

Research shows that an unborn child is capable of experiencing pain and reacts to touch as early as eight weeks after fertilization. After 20 weeks, the unborn child reacts to stimuli that would be recognized as painful if applied to an adult human, such as by recoiling, the site states.

For more information, visit  www.nrlc.org/statelegislation/ or www.doctorsonfetalpain.com.

 

Miscellany file photo: A youth from St. Joseph Church in Anderson holds a sign while standing on the Statehouse steps as she waits for the Stand Up for Life rally, which was held Jan. 9, 2016 in Columbia. Speakers at the rally had urged support of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which was passed May 17.

 

Miscellany file photo: A youth from St. Joseph Church in Anderson holds a sign while standing on the Statehouse steps as she waits for the Stand Up for Life rally, which was held Jan. 9, 2016 in Columbia. Speakers at the rally had urged support of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which was passed May 17.






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