11:45 AM: First Floor Lobby, SC State House
Re: ‘Right to Life Act of South Carolina’ [ H.3213 / S.111 ]
Republican State Senators refuse to pass South Carolina's pro-life bill to end "legalized" abortion
Statement by Steve Lefemine, pro-life missionary, director, Columbia Christians for Life:
The Lord Jesus Christ is Pro-Life. He is the Creator of life. The Bible says that He is King of kings and Lord of lords, and that includes His Kingship and Lordship over the General Assembly of South Carolina. The Bible says that the LORD “is the governor among the nations,” and that He “is the King of all the earth.” His Kingship includes authority over the state of South Carolina. God has given his command to mankind, “Thou shalt not kill (murder).” Yet South Carolina has been in rebellion against God, murdering over 310,000 pre-birth children since 1973. Today SC murders about 6500 children a year; that’s 125 per week, primarily in the three cities with abortion centers: Charleston murders about 55 per week; Greenville, 45 per week; and Columbia, 25 per week. Our entire state is polluted with the innocent blood of murdered children, and the shedding of their blood is protected by the state.
The Right to Life Act of South Carolina is SC’s only bill to end “legalized” abortion. It could also be called SC’s “Personhood for the Unborn” bill. The bill recognizes the legal “personhood” of all pre-birth human beings, at fertilization. It would ban all “legalized” child-murder-by-abortion, because the SC State Constitution, in Article I., Section 3., already protects legal “persons” from being deprived of life without due process of law, and in the bill’s original form (i.e., without any so-called “exceptions”), would inarguably place all pre-birth human beings in the same protected status. In the text of the Roe v. Wade decision 33 years ago, the Supreme Court said that if personhood for the “fetus” [unborn child] was established, then the case for abortion would collapse.
With the 2006 session of the Legislature scheduled to end on June 1, unless the SC Senate takes action on the version that passed the House in 2005 (H.3213), the bill will die, and the 6,500+ children murdered every year in SC by surgical abortion will have to wait until the 2007 session for new legislation to pass, at the earliest.
Incredibly, even though H.3213 passed the House on Second Reading on April 13, 2005 by a vote of 95 Yeas to 18 Nays (albeit with a fatal flaw rape exception amendment that must be removed), the bill has gone nowhere in the Senate after two public hearings in May 2005 before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee chaired by Senator Jim Ritchie (R-Spartanburg). H.3213 has sat in this Subcommittee for over one year, even though Republicans outnumber Democrats 4 to 1 ! This includes Senator Glenn McConnell (R-Charleston), chairman of the full Judiciary Committee. With just days left in the 2006 session, unless something changes, and quickly, the bill will die June 1.
The RTL Act of SC was first filed in 1998, by Rep. Terry Haskins in the House, and by Senator Mike Fair in the Senate. It has been an active bill in the House every year since, the current sponsor being Rep. Ralph Davenport. The Republicans have been the majority in control of the House consistently now for 12 years beginning in 1995. House Republican leaders had opposed the bill for years, or not supported it. Then, in early 2005, the SC Attorney General issued a legal opinion that the RTL Act of SC was constitutional on its face, though if applied to abortion, would have to be adjudicated. The bill finally passed the House in April 2005, and went over to the Senate. If the Senate refuses to take action to pass the Right to Life Act of SC by June 1, the responsibility must rightly be placed at the feet of those Senators who are members of the political party that is now in power, the REPUBLICANS :
- The Republicans are the majority in the SC House (74 Republicans to 50 Democrats).
- The Republicans are the majority in the SC Senate (26 Republicans to 20 Democrats).
- The Republicans in SC currently occupy the Governor's office, the Lt. Governor's office, and the Att. Gen.'s office.
It is the Republicans who are the majority in the State Senate who are responsible for refusing to take action to pass the Right to Life Act of SC, and who will therefore be responsible for prolonging child-killing in our state.
The 2004 Republican Party National Platform states, “As a country, we must keep our pledge to the first guarantee of the Declaration of Independence. That is why we say the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed… Our purpose is to have legislative and judicial protection of that right against those who perform abortions.” It’s well past due the time for Republicans to back up these words with legislative action.
To the 19 Republican SC State Senators who are not co-sponsors of the Senate version of the RTL Act, S.111, we ask, why aren’t you a co-sponsor ? Please pass the Right to Life Act before the session ends on June 1st. Now to those of you here, attending this news conference, I invite you to please help by lobbying these Senators upstairs. Thank you for coming, if you can stay to lobby the Senators, please gather here behind the podium at the conclusion.