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
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This story also appeared in Statehouse Report.
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