COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – Governor Henry McMaster signed the Fetal Heartbeat and Protections from Abortion Act, S.474, into law on Thursday morning while surrounded by members of the General Assembly.
After calling lawmakers back into special session, House lawmakers passed the controversial legislation on May 17 after days of debate. It was later sent to the Senate where it also passed.
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According to Gov. McMaster’s office, the bill prohibits abortion after a fetal heartbeat has been detected, with exceptions for the life or health of the mother, medical emergencies, fatal fetal anomalies, and, up to twelve weeks of pregnancy, in cases of rape or incest.
“With my signature, the Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act is now law and will begin saving the lives of unborn children immediately,” said Governor Henry McMaster. “This is a great day for life in South Carolina, but the fight is not over. We stand ready to defend this legislation against any challenges and are confident we will succeed. The right to life must be preserved, and we will do everything we can to protect it.”
Gov. McMaster said the act is effective immediately.