SC bill extends ‘Stand Your Ground’ defense to embryos from moment of conception

By Scott Kaufman
Friday, April 11, 2014 12:35 EDT
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pregnant woman with handgun on shutterstock
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A Senate subcommittee in South Carolina is seeking to expand the state’s “Stand Your Ground” defense law to include protections for all children, including unborn ones, beginning from the moment of conception.

Current South Carolina law permits the use of deadly force to protect oneself or others against “imminent peril of death or great bodily injury.” According to Republican State Senators Chip Campsen and Greg Hembree, by that definition the law does not fully apply to pregnant women, since injuries that they face might not put them in “peril of death or great bodily injury,” but could put their fetuses in just such jeopardy.

Democratic State Senator Brad Hutto shared with The State his concern that any new law would be redundant, as it is already legal for a pregnant woman to respond with deadly force. He asked supporters of the measures — three are currently pending — to provide him with an example in which an unborn child’s life would be threatened when the mother’s isn’t.

The subcommittee passed a bill it called “The Pregnant Women’s Protection Act,” but abortion-rights activists claim the name of the bill is a misnomer used to disguise the fact that this bill is actually a back-door effort to grant constitutional rights to embryos from the moment of conception.

The bill defines “pregnant” as “the female reproductive condition of having an unborn child in the female’s body,” and “unborn child” as “the offspring of human beings from conception until birth.”

["A Pregnant Mother Holding Unto A Gun" on Shutterstock]

Scott Kaufman
Scott Kaufman
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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