South Carolina House approves abortion ban with exceptions

Aug 29, 2022, 10:11 PM | Updated: Aug 31, 2022, 8:46 am
Protesters gather outside the state house in opposition to a proposed abortion ban debated Tuesday,...

Protesters gather outside the state house in opposition to a proposed abortion ban debated Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022 by the South Carolina House of Representatives in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/James Pollard)

(AP Photo/James Pollard)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina House on Tuesday approved a bill that outlaws abortion except in the cases of pregnancies caused by rape or incest.

The chamber initially rejected the bill without the exceptions by eight votes. But once Republicans saw the outcome, they quickly went through a number of complex procedures and votes to bring the bill back from the brink of failure.

The exceptions were added by enough lawmakers shouting “aye” and the bill passed by a vote of 67-38.

The bill has one more routine vote before it goes to the Senate, where stricter bans on abortions have seen tougher fights.

The bill allows abortions up to 12 weeks after conception if a women tells a doctor she was raped. The doctor has to tell the woman he is going to report the rape to the county sheriff and has 24 hours after the procedure to give deputies the woman’s name and contact information. It also allows abortions to save a mother’s life.

Some of the House’s most conservative lawmakers said Monday they would not support a bill with the rape and incest exceptions, but when it came to a final vote, they changed their minds.

“But here’s the thing — at the end of the day we passed a good pro-life bill in South Carolina,” said Republican Rep. John McCravy, who shepherded the bill through the chamber.

The dizzying parliamentary maneuvers happened after Democrats joined with those conservatives to try to keep the bill as restrictive as possible.

Republicans accused Democrats of playing politics as they also voted down an amendment supporters said would allow abortions for women carrying fetuses with medical problems leaving them unlikely to be born alive.

“The ladies of South Carolina, they are gambling with your body,” Republican Rep Micah Caskey said.

Democrats said they didn’t want to debate abortion again after the General Assembly agreed to a six-week ban in 2021, but Republicans decided to call a special session after Roe v. Wade was overturned.

“It is not our bill. We’re not the ones trying to control their bodies,” Democratic Rep. Leon Stavrinakis said.

The leader of a non-profit organization that fights for women’s health and economic rights was offended that Republicans saw the debate as a game.

“We’ve got to get past the point of seeing this as a political game and start seeing the impact it has on real peoples lives. And I’m afraid that’s been lost in the Statehouse today,” said Ann Warner, CEO of the Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network.

Republicans who have nearly twice as many members as Democrats, took an hour break just before the vote to get their most conservative members to agree to the exceptions.

Other changes voted down in the debate included language supporters said would protect in vitro fertilization and birth control, and proposals that would allow prosecutors to charge a women who gets an abortion with murder.

About 100 people gathered in the Statehouse lobby for the debate. They chanted phrases like “Abortion is health care” and “My body, my choice” and drew honks from passing cars. Law enforcement closed the House gallery Tuesday.

South Carolina currently has a six-week ban but the South Carolina Supreme Court suspended the law earlier this month while the justices decide on a Planned Parenthood lawsuit that says the ban is an unreasonable invasion of privacy under the state constitution. The decision leaves South Carolina’s abortion ban at 20 weeks for now.

Earlier in August Indiana passed a near-total ban set to take effect Sept. 15 with exceptions for rape, incest and if the mother’s life is in danger. West Virginia’s House and Senate couldn’t agree on stricter abortion rules in a July session.

Thirteen states have so-called trigger laws designed to outlaw most abortions when the U.S. Supreme Court threw out the constitutional right to end a pregnancy in June.

South Carolina leaders have watched those developments carefully, as well as events several weeks ago in Kansas, where nearly 60% of voters rejected a ballot measure that would have allowed the state’s conservative Legislature to ban abortion. Republican Donald Trump received 56% of the 2020 presidential vote in Kansas. Trump won 55% in South Carolina.

The bill currently allows abortions if a mother’s life is in danger and then lists a number of different medical emergencies that would fit into that exception.

Republican Gov. Henry McMaster hasn’t given his opinion on this specific bill but has said he would like to see a day where there are no abortions in the state.

“This is a good starting point for the Senate to begin its deliberations,” McMaster’s spokesman Brian Symmes said.

___

Pollard is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

___

Follow Jeffrey Collins on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JSCollinsAP.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

American's Andy Huynh, right, and Alex Drueke arrive at the TWA Hotel on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022 in ...
Associated Press

U.S. captives ‘prayed for death’ on brutal ride from Ukraine

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Even after three months of captivity that included execution threats, physical torture, solitary confinement and food deprivation, it was the ride to freedom that nearly broke Alex Drueke, a U.S. military veteran released last week with nine other prisoners who went to help Ukraine fight off Russian invaders. His hands were […]
15 hours ago
FILE - Sun shines on the U.S. Capitol dome in Washington, Aug. 12, 2022. Negotiators have agreed to...
Associated Press

House OKs bill to avert government shutdown, aid Ukraine

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democratic-led House passed a short-term spending bill on Friday that finances the federal government through mid-December and provides another infusion of military and economic aid to Ukraine as lawmakers acted to avert a partial government shutdown set to begin after midnight. The bill passed the House by a vote of 230-201. […]
15 hours ago
Associated Press

2 lawsuits target Wisconsin policy on absentee ballots

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Two lawsuits filed this week argue that Wisconsin election clerks should be allowed to accept absentee ballots that are missing portions of witness addresses, the next step in the ongoing legal battle that has pit conservatives against liberals in the battleground state. The lawsuits, filed three days apart on Tuesday and […]
15 hours ago
After taking a five-hour bus trip, family of the Uvalde shooting massacre speak in support of Texas...
Associated Press

Uvalde families make presence felt at Texas governor debate

EDINBURG, Texas (AP) — Parents of some of the 19 children killed in the Uvalde school massacre in Texas lashed out at Republican Gov. Greg Abbott over his opposition to tougher gun control on Friday before the issue was likely to take center stage in his only debate with Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke. The presence […]
15 hours ago
Associated Press

How major US stock indexes fared Friday 9/30/2022

Wall Street closed out a miserable September with a loss of 9.3%, the worst monthly decline since March 2020. The S&P 500 fell 1.5% Friday to its lowest level in almost two years. The benchmark index has lost ground for six of the last seven weeks and posted its third straight losing quarter. Nike fell […]
15 hours ago
FILE - Naomi Judd poses at the Hero Dog Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif....
Associated Press

Tennessee high court reverses Judd death investigation order

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee’s high court on Thursday vacated a ruling that required police to publicly release their investigation of country singer Naomi Judd’s death. The state Supreme Court did not rule on whether the records can be released, but sent the case back to the lower court for another hearing. Judd’s family filed […]
15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
...
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
South Carolina House approves abortion ban with exceptions