COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Intense arguments in the South Carolina Senate centered on abortion rights, and how a "person" is defined.
The controversial bill to grant 'Personhood' to a fertilized egg moved forward on Tuesday. After hours of fiery debate, senators voted by a close margin, 11 to 9, to send the bill to the Senate floor.
Excited arguments garnered applause from an audience that hung onto every word of the discussion on how to define a person.
At one point, a female senator against the bill called the male senator and bill supporter's credibility on the topic into question, saying he'd never birthed children.
If the bill passes to consider a fertilized egg a person, abortion would be banned. There's an exception for when a mother's life is in danger, but not for rape or incest.
"I think one of the main things that it really comes down to is this, human life, when does it begin," 'Personhood Act' supporter Rebecca Ewing said. "Because that's what it really comes down to. When do we believe that it's okay to take a human life?"
"His failure to understand the difference between fertilization and conception makes all the difference in the world for all of the issues we face as women when it comes to our own pregnancies and all the many issues we face," said Annabelle Robertson, who opposes the Personhood Act.
There are worries artificial fertilization like in vitro would be affected. The bill sponsor added a measure to try to keep it from being impacted. But there are concerns doctors wouldn't be able to dispose of eggs.
The bill goes to the floor where the entire Senate will now debate it.