South Carolina legislature nears final vote to ban most abortions after six weeks

The bill has passed the state Senate and House Judiciary Committee and will now go to the House floor for a vote.
2008 March for Life event in Washington.
2008 March for Life event in Washington.
(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The South Carolina legislature is nearing a final vote on a bill that would ban most abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected – at about six weeks.

The so-called heartbeat bill has passed the Senate, been approved by the House Judiciary Committee and now goes to final vote on the House floor, where it is expected to pass. 

Exceptions to the ban include pregnancy as a result of rape or incest or when the health of the mother is a risk.

The bill states that doctors must perform an ultrasound before any possible procedure to detect a heartbeat and those that do not are "guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined ten thousand dollars, imprisoned not more than two years, or both."

"Life is the most precious and sacred of all of our rights. The heartbeat bill legislation is an opportunity for South Carolina to stand firm on our most sacred liberty, life, and move our state forward to building a culture of life," said Madison Rainey, state director for Concerned Women for America of South Carolina.

Other states are considering the implementation of similar measures, with Florida reportedly considering a 20-week ban to follow suit with Missouri and Mississippi.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has introduced legislation that would ban discriminatory abortions based on a Down Syndrome diagnosis.