COLUMBIA -- The South Carolina House has unanimously approved a bill ensuring that a fetus which survives an abortion attempt is not treated as medical waste.

Abortion opponents applauded the measure’s swift passage after years of failed efforts, praising the Senate where it usually stalls. The 107-0 vote Wednesday followed the Senate’s 27-3 approval last month. Another perfunctory vote sends it to the governor.

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 which survives an abortion attempt would be entitled to treatment. Both abortion rights activists and foes concede such an event is rare.

The bill copies the federal Born Alive Infant Protection Act of 2002 that applies to federal property and facilities.