Harrisburg, Pa. – Commenting on South Carolina's passage of a Heartbeat Bill, State Representative Stephanie Borowicz (R–Centre/Clinton) said she plans to introduce one in Pennsylvania "soon."
"I will be introducing the Heartbeat Bill with Sen. Mastriano soon here in Pennsylvania!" Borowicz announced on her Facebook page on Feb. 18, the day the bill was passed in South Carolina.
Mastriano confirmed plans to introduce a Heartbeat Bill with Borowicz on his Facebook page the same day.
"Happy to announce that we are re-introducing similar legislation together with Sen Judy Ward and Rep Stephanie Borowicz," Mastriano wrote.
The South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat Protection from Abortion Act referenced by Mastriano and Borowicz "prohibits the performance of an abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detected," except for a few limited cases, including:
- the pregnancy is the result of rape and the probable age of the fetus is fewer than 20 weeks
- the pregnancy is the result of incest and the probable age of the fetus is fewer than 20 weeks
- there exists a fetal anomaly
- there exists a medical emergency necessitating the immediate abortion of her pregnancy to avert her death
The law's language excludes abortions of fetuses resulting from rape or incest if the probable age of the fetus is greater than 20 weeks.
Both "fetal anomaly" and "medical emergencies" are narrowly defined.
"Medical emergencies" only include physical conditions – not psychological or emotional ones. Even if a medical professional diagnoses a woman as self-injurious or suicidal, the new law prohibits her from seeking an abortion in South Carolina:
"A condition must not be considered a medical emergency if based on a claim or diagnosis that a woman will engage in conduct that she intends to result in her death or in a substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function," the law states.
Anyone who violates the law's provisions "is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined ten thousand dollars, imprisoned not more than two years, or both," it states.
The bill passed the South Carolina House of Representatives with 74 yeas and 39 nays on Feb. 18, and was signed into law by their governor the same day.
But the state's new law won't go into effect just yet.
U.S. District Court Judge Mary Geiger Lewis blocked the measure in a two-week temporary restraining order on Feb. 19, NPR reported.
Planned Parenthood is challenging the new law in federal court, according to NPR.