Republican presidential candidate Tim Scott praised his home state of South Carolina for passing a heartbeat law Wednesday, calling the legislation “good news” for unborn babies.

The new law, which Gov. Henry McMaster signed Thursday, protects unborn babies by banning elective abortions once their heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks of pregnancy.

Scott, a U.S. Senator representing South Carolina, was asked about the pro-life legislation during an interview with South Carolina Education Television host Gavin Jackson, The Hill reports. Scott said the new protections for unborn babies are a step in the right direction.

“The state is trying to protect the culture of life, and that’s good news. I mean, the heartbeat bill is a step in the direction of that,” Scott said.

Scott, who announced his campaign for president last week, has a 100-percent pro-life voting record in the U.S. Senate. Growing up in North Charleston, South Carolina, he was raised by a single mom and overcame poverty to become a businessman before running for elected office.

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“I will protect our most fundamental right, the right to life itself,” he said in an April video from his presidential exploratory committee.

Others who also have announced Republican presidential bids include former Presidential Donald Trump, former North Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Now that Roe v. Wade is gone, 19 states have laws that protect unborn babies from abortion by 15 weeks or earlier. Some are battling in court to enforce their laws, but others are being enforced and saving tens of thousands of babies’ lives.

The abortion chain Planned Parenthood is expected to sue South Carolina in an attempt to block the new law, but pro-life advocates hope the legislation will be enforced and save babies’ lives.

According to the state Department of Health and Environmental Control, there currently are about 1,000 abortions per month in the Palmetto State, largely because of out-of-state abortion traffic. That means the heartbeat law would save hundreds of babies every month and thousands every year.

New research from Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America estimates roughly 60,000 unborn babies have been saved from abortion since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Dobbs v. Jackson last June.

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