If S.C. passes fetal heartbeat bill, one lawmaker wants the state to compensate mothers

S.C. senator wants state to compensate women forced to have baby under proposed fetal heartbeat bill

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - This year, a fetal heartbeat bill has made its way through the South Carolina Statehouse.

Back in April, the House passed its version of the bill. Just a few weeks ago, a Senate committee decided to send the bill to the Senate floor. Senators are expected to debate the bill when they reconvene in January.

The bill would ban abortions in South Carolina after a heartbeat is detected -- or around six weeks into a pregnancy.

If the fetal heartbeat bill is signed into law, one senator is ready with her own legislation in response.

Sen. Mia McLeod (D-Richland) pre-filed the South Carolina Pro-Birth Accountability Act in December.

The legislation would compensate certain mothers who would have gotten an abortion, but would instead be required to keep the pregnancy if a fetal heartbeat bill were signed into law.

The Pro-Birth Accountability Act would also hold the state accountable for any health problems the mother or the child encounter.

This isn’t the first time something like this has been discussed.

Marguerite Willis is an attorney from Florence. She testified during one of the Senate Medical Affairs Committee hearings on the abortion ban. Her testimony was neither for or against the fetal heartbeat bill, but she laid out a plan similar to what the Pro-Birth Accountability Act would do.

“This is a unique constitutional argument I am proposing,” Willis said. “It is an effort to reach an accommodation.”

The Pro-Birth Accountability Act has been referred to the Senate Medical Affairs Committee.

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