In a strange combination of two hot-button, polarizing political issues, South Carolina may expand its current “Stand Your Ground” law to permit the use of deadly force to protect a fetus.
The expansion of the law, referred to as the “Pregnant Women’s Protection Act,” was approved 3-2 by a state Senate committee on Thursday, although it’s currently unclear how far the legislation is going to progress. The law would allow pregnant women to use deadly force to protect unborn children, beginning at conception.
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Although the legislation specifically references pregnant women and fetuses, opponents argue that the expansion of the law would be no different than the state’s current “Stand Your Ground” law. If a pregnant woman is threatened, her unborn child is automatically threatened as well, opponents argue. ThinkProgress suggests that the new legislation is simply an effort to advance the classification of unborn fetuses as “personhood” according to state law.
While the Senate committee works to expand the law, other state politicians are looking to repeal it. According to the Huffington Post, Rep. Harold Mitchell, Democrat, introduced legislation in March that would repeal South Carolina’s “Stand Your Ground” law.