South Carolina lawmakers have voted overwhelmingly to pass a “trigger” law that is currently virtually symbolic but will take effect immediately in the case that Roe v. Wade is overturned by the Supreme Court and make nearly all abortions illegal.
Perhaps jealous that so many other states have laws in place to strip living humans of bodily autonomy in favor of fertilized eggs the moment it is nationally allowable to do so, the state named its bill the “South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act,” which’ll really show those misogynists in Louisiana that Deep South contempt for people with ovaries got nothing on Low Country hatred. Their bill has all the bells and whistles of even the newest, most deluxe models currently being adopted by most of the states where life is currently very shitty for millions of living children:
“‘This is the greatest pro-life bill this state has ever passed,’ said Republican Rep. David Hiott of Pickens [per the AP]. The [bill] requires doctors to perform ultrasounds to check for a heartbeat in the fetus. If one is detected, the abortion can only be performed if the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest or the mother’s life is in danger.”
And while the bill doesn’t go as far as to mandate setting the body of the pregnant person tried and convicted of seeking to terminate a pregnancy aflame in the town square the second a fetus is expelled, it would make felons of those found guilty of providing abortions along with prison sentences of up to two years and fines of $10,000.
Though the bill was passed by a majority of 79-35, there are lawmakers in South Carolina ready to point out how deeply shitty it is to make this nonsense a priority in a state with actual problems (among them the fact that 22 percent of its children live in poverty):
“You love the fetus in the womb. But when it is born, it’s a different reaction,” said Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter of Orangeburg, the House’s longest serving member at 29 years.
While I agree with the spirit of Cobb-Hunter’s statement, I would quibble that it is likely not love for hypothetical tissue harbored in a stranger’s body that is fueling these draconian laws, but performative contempt for those bodies in exchange for political support from vocally misogynist religious institutions, same as everywhere else.