COLUMBIA, S.C. — Lawmakers in South Carolina are currently considering a bill that would declare that the unborn have protection as persons.
Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant recently introduced S. 217, also known as the Personhood Act of South Carolina. The bill recognizes the God-given, unalienable right to life of every person, beginning at fertilization, based upon the protections afforded in the state Constitution.
“The General Assembly acknowledges that all persons are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” it reads in part. “The General Assembly acknowledges that personhood is God-given, as all men are created in the image of God.”
“The rights guaranteed by Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution of this state, that no person shall be deprived of life without due process of law nor denied the equal protection of the laws, vest at fertilization for each born and preborn human being,” the bill continues.
Local residents packed a Senate subcommittee hearing held about the matter on Thursday, filling the room to standing room only. Both sides spoke their mind on the subject.
“Stating that human life begins at fertilization is really not consistent with scientific fact. Both sperm and egg are alive prior to fertilization. Although there is DNA added, no real new life is created,” Dr. Michael Slowey of Coastal Fertility Specialists in Mt. Pleasant asserted.
Registered nurse Laura Fultz read a segment from a medical textbook in advising that a fertilized egg is indeed a new life.
“From an embryology textbook written for medical students: ‘A zygote, fertilized egg, is the beginning of a new human being. Human development begins at fertilization,’” she read.
Vicki Ringer of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic took issue with the bill because it doesn’t allow for any exceptions, and would ban the destruction of embryos from infertility treatments.
“[The bill] would ban in-vitro fertilization, and it would ban abortion without exception—so rape, incest, if a woman’s life is in danger, if the fetus is going to die, there’s no exceptions for any of that. Women will have to suffer,” she stated.
But registered nurse and pastor’s wife, Valerie Quick, declared that it should never be man’s choice who lives or dies, no matter how they were conceived.
“When a child is conceived, whether intentional or not, there is nothing that his parents can do to decide whether or not that child has life,” she said. “The Lord decides. When a child is conceived, the Lord, who has the infinite right to choose, has chosen. When a child is aborted, it’s the same as murder. A life has been cut short by the decision of someone else.”
According to WSPA-TV and WIS-TV, so many residents signed up to speak that there was not enough time to hear them all. Another hearing is expected for this week before a vote will be taken.
As previously reported, Philadelphia legal writer, educator and Christian apologist Francis Wharton, who wrote several books on American law, penned an entire chapter on abortion in his book “American Criminal Law,” which was published in 1855.
Wharton called abortionists “persons who are ready to degrade their humanity to this occupation” and stated in regard to abortion in general, “Such conduct cannot be too strongly condemned, and is the more deserving of receiving the punishment awarded for the criminal offense in question.”
He proceeded to outline the wonders of fetal development in his book, showing that even in the fourth and fifth week of development, the facial features of the baby are distinctly recognized.