SC House to debate near-ban on abortion
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina House members will soon debate a bill that will nearly ban all abortions in the Palmetto State if it is passed.
A House committee voted Tuesday afternoon to advance the bill to the House floor.
The bill would ban abortions with no exceptions in cases of rape, incest, or fetal anomalies.
The procedure would be allowed to save the life and health of the mother in situations like ectopic pregnancies, severe preeclampsia, and miscarriages.
Abortion providers could face up to two years in prison and a fine, but South Carolinians who get abortions would not be criminalized.
This would not prevent traveling to another state to get an abortion and lawmakers say they don’t seek to prohibit contraceptives or in vitro fertilization.
“It bans the practice of abortion as birth control,” Rep. John McCravy (R-Greenwood) said. “It protects and preserves all legitimate women’s healthcare.”
Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee railed against this bill for most of the nearly two-hour meeting.
They asked why Republicans were in a rush to further restrict South Carolina’s abortion law when the state’s six-week ban went into effect less than two months ago.
Some Democrats spoke about the burden they believe they will place on the state’s healthcare providers especially in rural areas, where OB-GYNs are already rare.
Others bemoaned the time spent debating abortion, an issue that comes up with regularity at the State House, while they say other issues that hurt South Carolinians remain inadequately addressed.
“There’s so much legislation we could do to address the sick, the poor, the orphans, the incarcerated,” Rep. Seth Rose (D-Richland) said. “These are all groups that are mentioned in the Bible. But they certainly, as far as this legislature is concerned, take a backseat to the fetus.”
Committee members voted along party lines to advance the unamended bill to the House floor, where amendments will certainly be proposed.
Five members did not vote, including a few Republicans who were present.
“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,” Rep. Neal Collins (R-Pickens) said.
The full House of Representatives is scheduled to return to the State House in two weeks to begin debate on this bill.
State senators, meanwhile, will hear public testimony for the first time since Roe v. Wade’s overturn at a committee meeting Wednesday.
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