States Look to Fetal Personhood Legislation to End Abortions
South Carolina GOP state Rep. Josiah Magnuson told the Spartanburg County Republican Party last month he’s tired of nibbling around the edges of legalized abortion.
“The only way to slay the dragon is through the heart of Roe v. Wade,” Magnuson explained. “We need to remember our goal — to end abortion.”
The pro-choice Guttmacher Institute trumpeted a warning in December picked up by Vice News — Republicans had pre-filed at least 17 state legislative proposals to limit abortions.
Among the 17 is Magnuson’s bill to recognize the right to life begins at conception, a concept known as fetal personhood. The legislation would outlaw abortion with very few exceptions.
Under Magnuson’s proposal, an abortion would be allowed if the mother was in danger of dying. But cases of rape and incest are not addressed in Magnuson’s proposal. Contraception and in-vitro fertilization would be permitted.
Magnuson’s legislation states “the rights of its citizens extend to each newly born and pre-born human being.”
“The Personhood Act will define life at conception so that all humans are protected under state law, regardless of age,” Magnuson said. “The dark trade must end. Now is the time to end abortion in South Carolina.”
This move by Magnuson is the second time South Carolina’s pro-life legislators have tried to win approval for a fetal personhood proposal. Last year, an effort to do so failed. But Gov. Henry McMaster (R) issued a February 2018 statement in which he promised to sign fetal personhood legislation.
“There will be a day when everyone will understand clearly that the right to life is the most important right there is, that life begins at conception, it is a God-given right, and we must do all we can to protect it,” McMaster said in a speech on the floor of the South Carolina State House marking Personhood Day 2018.
“There’s been nobody more committed to pro-life legislation than Gov. McMaster, and there’s absolutely no reason to expect that to change in the coming legislative session,” McMaster spokesman Brian Symmes said.
South Carolina state Sen. Richard Cash (R) said in December that he’d introduce a Senate version of the Personhood Act this year.
“We’ve got a governor now that signed the Personhood pledge,” said state Sen. Shane Martin, (R) a personhood supporter. “I’m hoping that with our fight and the governor’s support, we can get some of these so-called pro-life Democrats and Republicans to actually vote pro-life.”
Despite Martin’s optimism, pro-choice legislators are promising to fight as hard as they did last year.
South Carolina Sen. Marlon Kimpson (D) promised to filibuster “any piece of legislation that would erode a woman’s right to choose and make a personal decision without the interference of the government.”