US media targets state abortion bill – RT World News
A proposal to classify fetuses as ‘persons’ has been criticized as wanting the ‘death penalty’ for women
Six members of the South Carolina State House withdrew their sponsorship of a bill this week after media coverage portrayed it as wanting to execute women who have abortions. Proposed in January, the bill caught the attention of major corporate media on Monday, leading to a flurry of nearly identical stories condemning it.
THE “South Carolina Prenatal Equal Protection Act of 2023” introduced several amendments to the state criminal code, which would define a fertilized egg as a person and prosecute abortion as murder. It was proposed by Spartanburg Republican Rob Harris, a registered nurse and member of the Freedom Caucus.
The bill went unnoticed for nearly two months, until regional TV station WBVW reported on it on February 27. Their title indicated that the bill “could make (the) death penalty a possible punishment” for abortion, because capital punishment was still in effect in South Carolina.
Five days later, the story was picked up by Insider – owned by German transnational conglomerate Axel Springer – whose reporting made the possibility of the death penalty suggested by WBTW a done deal.
On Monday, Rolling Stone claimed that 21 South Carolina Republicans “proposing (the) death penalty” for abortions. They quoted Congresswoman Nancy Mace, a Republican from South Carolina, who in a speech last Friday referred to her own experience as a teenage rape victim to call the bill part of a “deeply disturbing” orient yourself.
Rolling Stone’s coverage was later picked up by USA Today and The Hill. A blogger from MSNBC’s “ReidOut” went further, calling the proposal an example of “right-wing depravity” and pointing out that it doesn’t even include exceptions for rape or incest, which he called “a caveat that conservatives traditionally trotted out to signal their empathy as they cruise against abortion.”
The South Carolina Statehouse’s webpage for the bill shows five lawmakers withdrew their sponsorship of the bill on Monday, followed by another on Tuesday.
Abortion has been a hot topic in American politics for decades. Most Republicans condemn it as murder and a sin, while most Democrats insist it is a health issue, while some even defend it as a “sacred” LAW. In Roe v. Wade of 1973, the United States Supreme Court declared abortion to be part of the constitutionally protected right to privacy. This precedent, however, was overturned in June 2022, returning the power to regulate abortion to individual states.
Current South Carolina law states that abortion is legal until 21 weeks and six days of pregnancy. Harris proposed his bill on Jan. 10, shortly after the state Supreme Court struck down a 2021 law that sought to ban abortions after six weeks.
The last execution in South Carolina was in 2011. Faced with logistical problems with administering lethal injections, the state adopted the electric chair as its preferred method of capital punishment, but courts are currently debating whether it would violate human rights.