State lawmakers hear personal stories, opinions on abortion law from South Carolinians

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Dozens of people across South Carolina flooded the state house Wednesday to tell a special House committee what they want to happen with abortion law in the state, now that Roe v. Wade is overturned.

Channel 9′s Tina Terry was listening in and said the people who testified were very passionate as they tried to impact what happens next with abortion law.

“I was 18 when I found out I was pregnant. I had nothing,” one woman said. “Please advocate for the lives of the unborn, because they don’t have a voice.”

Some people lined up before sunrise to tell the House committee their very personal stories and opinions on abortion.

“The decision to have a child is a private and personal conversation between the mother and the father,” a man said.

After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, Gov. Henry McMaster moved quickly, asking a judge to lift an injunction on the Fetal Heartbeat Act.

The law now in effect in South Carolina prohibits an abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detected, but it makes exceptions in some cases including rape, incest, to prevent the death or injury of a pregnant woman and when there is a fetal anomaly.

But the House committee could create new legislation that goes much further that the current law.


“Our job today is to listen to you, the people of South Carolina on this very important topic,” a committee member said.

Some speakers asked the committee to give women the right to choose, but many other speakers early in the hearing asked the committee to go beyond current law in protecting the lives of the unborn.

“We recommend that you prohibit abortions except to prevent death of a mother. Prohibit trafficking of abortion, using drugs to induce abortion and trafficking of a minor,” attorney Courtney Milbank said.

There were so many speakers Thursday that the hearing may go on into the night. Terry learned that the House committee will meet several times if they create new legislation that would go to a House judiciary committee, and if it passes there, the full House could come back from break to consider it.

The Democratic candidate for governor asked lawmakers to hold off until after the election before making any changes to abortion law.

Channel 9 will continue to follow along with any updates.

(WATCH BELOW: What overturning Roe v. Wade means for South Carolinians)

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