Personhood, Pro-life Bills, and the 124th General Assembly

Personhood, Prolife Bills, and the General Assembly of South Carolina

The South Carolina Legislature

First, a brief civics lesson. Don’t worry—we’ll keep it short.

The South Carolina Legislature consists of the State Senate and the State House of Representatives. There are 46 Senators (one for each county in the state) and 124 Representatives (representing districts throughout the state, based on population). Taken together, the Senate and House are called the General Assembly.

Legislative sessions in South Carolina follow a two-year cycle. The 2021/2022 session began in January of 2021 and concluded its first half in May. The second half of the cycle will begin in January 2022 and conclude later in the same year. Together, these ten months constitute the 124th General Assembly of the State of South Carolina.

Priorities of the South Carolina Republican Party

As we’ve pointed out before, the SC GOP maintains the personhood of preborn children in its party platform:

We believe that the right to life is the first inalienable right, without which there can be no other rights. We believe that all human life has intrinsic worth and therefore support vigorous legal protection at all stages of life, from the unborn child to the elderly to the infirmed and disabled.

We believe the Fourteenth Amendment’s protection applies to unborn children. Unborn children should be classified as legal persons not as legal property.

By longstanding tradition, however, the state’s Republican party only passes (or attempts to pass) a single pro-life bill per legislative cycle. Why? Many party members claim that such bills are time-consuming and resources must be reserved for other legislative matters.

In other words, there isn’t a good reason.

But for now, that’s the way it is. For the current, 124th General Assembly the #heartbeatbill was it. That bill is now tied up in court challenges, where it’s not protecting anyone—just like similar bills passed in other states.

How to Pass the Personhood Act

Personhood South Carolina exists for one purpose: to pass the Personhood Act of South Carolina. This act would proclaim:

The General Assembly finds that a human being is a person at fertilization.

And further:

The rights guaranteed by Section 3, Article I, of the Constitution of this State—that no person shall be deprived of life without due process of law nor denied the equal protection of the laws—vest at fertilization for each born and preborn human being.

In other words, South Carolina would recognize that persons inside the womb enjoy the same rights as persons outside of it.

But what about the state GOP’s reluctance to pass more than one pro-life bill per legislative cycle? What does it mean for the Personhood Act of South Carolina?

It means now is the time to prepare! To make this bill a priority for the next legislative cycle, we need to tell our representatives to make it one. We need to tell our state senators and representatives to pass Personhood in the 2022/2023 session. We need to start telling them now and not stop.

  • Pray for the end of abortion in South Carolina. Join a district prayer group. Don’t have a group in your county? Become a district captain and start one.
  • Join your voice with ours. More followers on Facebook, more followers on Twitter, and more subscribers means more voices calling for the protection of life. Join with us today!
  • Already on board? Then share this post with your friends and family! When it comes time to move the bill through a committee or onto the floor of the legislature, we want a call to action to reach a lot of South Carolinians.

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