SC debates 'born alive' bill

COLUMBIA — South Carolina legislators plan to discuss a bill that ensures a fetus who survives an abortion attempt is not treated as medical waste.

A Senate Judiciary panel will discuss the bill today. The House approved it in February.

The proposal defines a person as anyone who is breathing and has a beating heart after birth, whether by labor, cesarean section, or abortion.

A fetus who survives an abortion attempt would be entitled to treatment as any other person. Supporters say it also applies to later-term abortions where the fetus' lungs are expected to be insufficiently developed for breathing. No group tracks how often either happens.

The bill copies the Born Alive Infant Protection Act signed in 2002 that applies to federal land and facilities.

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