Several state legislatures are considering measures in support of and against abortion.
The South Carolina senate this week is considering a bill that would ban elective abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which occurs around six weeks into a pregnancy.
Although Gov. Henry McMaster (R) has indicated he would sign the “heartbeat” bill if it reached his desk, it would likely face legal challenges from pro-choice groups should it become law.
As reported by SCNOW, abortions performed after six weeks of pregnancy accounted for around 55% of the overall number of abortions in South Carolina, according to 2019 state data.
Florida lawmakers also recently introduced a version of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in the state’s house and senate. The bill would prohibit elective abortions after 20 weeks “probable gestational age,” the point at which some data suggests an unborn child can feel pain.
State Sen. Ana Maria Rodriguez (R-Doral), who introduced the senate version of the bill, said it was intended as a defense of unborn human life.
“We have an obligation to be the voice of the unborn, who are too often not valued as individuals with the right to chart their own life,” Rodriguez stated.
“It is vital that the state of Florida takes action to protect these innocent lives,” she added.
On Tuesday, the Montana state house approved four pro-life bills that Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) has pledged to sign, all in a 67-33 party-line vote. The measures include a “Pain-Capable” bill, protections for babies born alive during botched abortions, requirements that a mother see an ultrasound of her child before having an abortion, and restrictions on abortion-inducing drugs.
Meanwhile, lawmakers in New Mexico began debate this week on repealing an abortion ban that pre-existed Roe v. Wade.
The state had passed a law in 1969 that prohibited abortion in most circumstances, but the law was rendered moot in 1973 when Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling struck down state abortion bans nationwide. If Roe were to be overturned by the court, the legality of abortion would return to the states and New Mexico’s ban would again take effect.
The American Civil LIberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico supports the repeal of the 1969 abortion ban, and calls it “unconstitutional” and “outdated.”
Elisa Martinez, a spokesperson for New Mexico Alliance for Life, told KOB-TV that the group and pro-life legislators are together pushing for the criminalization of abortion to be removed from the 1969 law, but that it should be “replaced with protections for women, for unborn children and for medical professionals.”
The Archdiocese of Santa Fe led a webcast rosary during the debate over the proposed legislation.
SB10 (Repeal Abortion Ban) will be heard
today at 2pm in the Senate Health & Public Affairs
Committee. You can watch at https://t.co/X3v7OrUTkL and click on
"Webcast." Please call your legislators and join us in
praying the rosary at 2pm. pic.twitter.com/sSiRtsU5Cr
— Archdiocese Santa Fe (@ASFOfficial) January 25, 2021