South Carolina politician Neal Collins, a Republican who serves in the state's House of Representatives, became visibly emotional when he told South Carolina's House Judiciary Committee he would not be voting on anti-abortion legislation that only allows the procedure to be performed in the event the mother's life is in danger.
The legislation, which provides no provisions for victims of rape or incest, would institute a near-total ban on the procedure. Current law, as a result of the fetal heartbeat law Collins had supported, allows for abortion up until a fetal "heartbeat" can be detected, or around 6 weeks.
Collins revealed his support for that fetal heartbeat bill has weighed heavily on him since learning that a 19-year-old woman whose water broke after just 15 weeks of pregnancy nearly died after attorneys advised doctors they could not perform an abortion because the fetus had a heartbeat.
Complications for the teenager proved so serious doctors told Collins there is a "greater than 50% chance she's going to lose her uterus" as well as a likelihood she could die of sepsis.
You can hear what Collins said in the video below.
Collins told the committee he could not in good conscience vote on the bill he had previously allowed to advance.
"That weighs on me. I voted for that bill. These are affecting people and we're having a meeting about this."
"That whole week I did not sleep."
"What we do matters. Out of respect for the process, I'm not voting today."
"But I want it to be clear that myself and many others are not in a position to vote for this bill without significant changes to the bill."
The bill passed out of committee anyway after Republican leaders cut Collins off and advanced the bill.
But the footage of Collins' speech quickly took off on social media, with many questioning whether Collins simply didn't understand what happened to the 19-year-old woman was bound to happen after state legislatures moved to restrict reproductive rights.
The online rebuke was swift.
The case of the 19-year-old is only the latest example of how the nation has been impacted in the weeks since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark abortion rights decision that once protected a person's right to choose reproductive healthcare without excessive government restriction.
Recently, much of the country was gripped by the account of a 10-year-old girl who was raped and forced to leave her home state of Ohio for an abortion that first garnered national attention after Democratic President Joe Biden mentioned it during a major speech about abortion policy.
In Ohio, there are no exceptions that would qualify a person for an abortion—not even in cases of rape or incest—and the draconian nature of these laws is what prompted the 10-year-old and her family to cross state lines to get the procedure.