File photo | Credit: Sean Rayford file photo

The S.C. Senate next week will take up a total abortion with exceptions that passed the House this week on a party-line vote.

On Tuesday, the S.C. House passed a new ban on abortion with two exclusions after a stronger version of the bill with no exceptions was rejected initially by eight votes. Following complex procedural measures to save the proposal, anti-abortion lawmakers regrouped and the chamber voted 67-38 on a new ban with exceptions for pregnancies caused by rape or incest. Under the new proposal, which still needs approval by the state Senate, the exceptions are allowed for up to 12 weeks after conception. 

South Carolina currently has a fetal heartbeat ban after about six weeks with some exceptions.  But that law is under an injunction pending resolution of a court challenge.  In other words, South Carolina women can still get abortions in the Palmetto State pending adjudication of the case.

Next week, the Senate will go into a perfunctory session on Tuesday to accept the just-passed House bill and send it to the S.C. Medical Affairs Committee, which will discuss it at 10 am.  

On Wednesday, the full Senate is expected to take up the measure.  But it’s unclear whether it is assured as state GOP senators have been under a lot of pressure to slow down pending resolution of the court case on the fetal heartbeat ban.  

“There are a lot of signs that it [a total ban] is unpopular and could hurt them,” one South Carolina analyst observed.

For example, Republican and Democratic voters across the country have sent clear signals that abortion bans are unpopular.  In Kansas, voters recently rejected a proposal to strip abortion protections from its state constitution. In Alaska this week, a little-known Democrat beat former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in a special election for a House vacancy.  It was the first time in 50 years a Democrat won the 

In other recent headlines: 

Biden urges Americans to protect democracy.  In a major prime time speech delivered Thursday, President Joe Biden urged Americans to continue fighting for democracy and accused Republican supporters of former President Donald Trump of embracing extremism.

Judge rejects Graham’s move to not testify in Georgia. A federal judge in Georgia again rejected an attempt by U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., to keep from testifying before a special grand jury looking into possible illegal efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in the Peach State.

CDC recommends new Covid boosters. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced that it encourages U.S. citizens to get the reformulated Covid booster. The new booster is supposed to attack the omicron subvariant that caused previous spikes earlier this year. Some shots are expected to be administered as early as this weekend.

The pandemic set back a decade of progress in education. Recent test scores from 9-year old children have revealed that the pandemic has significantly impacted a decades’ worth of progress in reading and math. These setbacks could have serious consequences for an entire generation of children.

S.C. named one of the states with highest student loan debt. South Carolina has been named one of the top states with the highest numbers of student loan debt in the country by an analyst at the Scholarship Institute. South Carolina ranked No. 5 with an average of $38,915 in student debt.

Gas prices decline heading into the weekend. Gas prices across the state have reached an average of $3.40 per gallon, with some areas dipping below the $3 mark. The decrease is nearly 20% down from July.

SCDOT gets $190 million in funding. The South Carolina Department of Transportation recently received an additional $190 million in federal funding for upcoming road projects. SCDOT said the money will be used on prioritized interstate, bridge, and safety projects that are already underway. 

Feds say court shouldn’t review Roof’s case. The death sentence of convicted murderer Dylann Roof in the 2015 racist slayings of nine worshippers at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston doesn’t merit review by the U.S. Supreme Court, federal prosecutors argued in a brief filed Thursday.

Insider’s Guide to CBD: More people turning to hemp. A detailed overview of CBD, a chemical made from industrial hemp that offers relaxation and relief for many. It’s being sold all over South Carolina. It’s related to marijuana, but different (including legally).

This story also appeared in Statehouse Report.

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