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US Abortion ban proposal faces a murky future in South Carolina

19:50  05 november  2019
19:50  05 november  2019 Source:   msn.com

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South Carolina Republican Sen. Richard Cash reads from a statement supporting removing restrictions for rape and incest victims from a strict "heartbeat 5, 2019, in Columbia, South Carolina . A Senate committee sent the bill to the Senate floor, setting up a potential 2020 election year fight (AP Photo

COLUMBIA, S . C . (AP) — South Carolina could get closer to being the latest state to pass a ban on almost all abortions Tuesday as a proposal faces another vote, but the bill’s future is murky because it does not include exceptions for victims of rape and incest.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A group of South Carolina senators restored exceptions for rape and incest on Tuesday to a measure that would ban nearly all abortions, then sent the bill to the Senate floor for a 2020 election year fight.

FILE - In this Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019, file photo, Rep. Josiah Magnuson speaks in favor of a bill banning abortion after a heartbeat is detected, in Columbia, S.C. A group of South Carolina senators are expected to take another step toward banning almost all abortions in the state. The Senate Medical Affairs Committee is expected to pass a “heartbeat abortion” bill Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins, File)© Provided by The Associated Press FILE - In this Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019, file photo, Rep. Josiah Magnuson speaks in favor of a bill banning abortion after a heartbeat is detected, in Columbia, S.C. A group of South Carolina senators are expected to take another step toward banning almost all abortions in the state. The Senate Medical Affairs Committee is expected to pass a “heartbeat abortion” bill Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins, File)

The exceptions had been removed by a smaller group of senators two months ago.

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A proposal to ban abortions without them failed last year in South Carolina 's Republican-dominated Senate. Similar bills have passed in recent years Even with the rape and incest exceptions restored, the bill faces an uncertain future next year because some more moderate Republicans senators don't

A proposal to ban abortions without them failed last year in South Carolina ’s Republican-dominated Senate. Similar bills have passed in recent years Even with the rape and incest exceptions restored, the bill faces an uncertain future next year because some more moderate Republicans senators

The legislative back-and-forth continues as proponents worry the ban can't get passed without the exceptions. Three Republicans joined six Democrats on the Medical Affairs Committee in refusing to advance the bill, which allowed the exceptions to be restored.

The "Fetal Heartbeat Protection from Abortion Act" would make almost all abortions illegal in South Carolina once fetal cardiac activity is detected, usually around six weeks after conception. The bill has always allowed an abortion if the mother's life is in danger.

The committee passed the measure Tuesday on a 9-6 vote — all Republicans voting for it and Democrats against it. Some Republicans have suggested senators never take up the bill, worrying the floor debate could rile voters in the upcoming elections.

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South Carolina lawmakers could get a step closer to banning all abortions in the state. The Senate Medical Affairs Committee is expected to pass a "heartbeat abortion " bill Tuesday. The measure would make almost all abortions illegal in South Carolina after a fetal heartbeat is detected

Abortion in South Carolina is legal. 42% of adults said in a poll by the Pew Research Center that abortion should be legal in all or most cases. The number of abortion clinics in South Carolina has fluctuated over the years, with fifteen in 1982, eighteen in 1992 and three in 2014.

Even with the rape and incest exceptions restored, the bill has faced an iffy future next year because some more moderate Republicans senators don't want to waste days fighting over it with Democrats. They've suggested that lawmakers should instead wait and see what happens with similar laws in other states, and move forward only if bans elsewhere withstand legal challenges.

FILE - In this Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019, file photo, supporters of a bill banning abortions in South Carolina after a fetal heartbeat is detected wore similar stickers at a state Senate subcommittee public hearing in Columbia, S.C. A group of South Carolina senators are expected to take another step toward banning almost all abortions in the state. The Senate Medical Affairs Committee is expected to pass a “heartbeat abortion” bill Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins, File)© Provided by The Associated Press FILE - In this Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019, file photo, supporters of a bill banning abortions in South Carolina after a fetal heartbeat is detected wore similar stickers at a state Senate subcommittee public hearing in Columbia, S.C. A group of South Carolina senators are expected to take another step toward banning almost all abortions in the state. The Senate Medical Affairs Committee is expected to pass a “heartbeat abortion” bill Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins, File)

Similar bills have passed in recent years in Louisiana, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio. Missouri approved a ban on abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy and Alabama lawmakers simply outlawed all abortions. All of them remain tied up in courts.

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Abortion ban proposal faces a murky future in South Carolina . The vote came after the committee restored exceptions for pregnancies caused by rape or incest. The other exception is when the mother’s life is in danger. Some more moderate Republicans worried the bill had no chance to pass without the

Lawmakers in South Carolina this week passed a bill that would ban abortions in the state as long as a fetal heartbeat can be detected. Current law prohibits abortions in South Carolina at 20 weeks of pregnancy or later. The proposal bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can

South Carolina already had a similar abortion showdown in 2018 after Democratic Sen. Brad Hutto of Orangeburg, whose has fought for abortion rights for decades, altered a bill banning a specific type of abortion into a ban on almost all abortions and dared lawmakers to pass it. Moderate Republicans couldn't support the proposal, which failed. Democrats have added a seat since that election.

The "heartbeat" abortion bill passed the South Carolina House earlier this year after the rape and incest exceptions were added on the House floor following a speech by Rep. Nancy Mace, a Republican from Charleston who told for the first time how she was raped when she was a teen.

FILE - In this Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019, file photo, opponents of a bill banning abortions in South Carolina after a fetal heartbeat is detected wore similar buttons at a state Senate subcommittee public hearing in Columbia, South Carolina. A group of South Carolina senators are expected to take another step toward banning almost all abortions in the state. The Senate Medical Affairs Committee is expected to pass a “heartbeat abortion” bill Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins, File)© Provided by The Associated Press FILE - In this Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019, file photo, opponents of a bill banning abortions in South Carolina after a fetal heartbeat is detected wore similar buttons at a state Senate subcommittee public hearing in Columbia, South Carolina. A group of South Carolina senators are expected to take another step toward banning almost all abortions in the state. The Senate Medical Affairs Committee is expected to pass a “heartbeat abortion” bill Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins, File)

Gov. Henry McMaster enthusiastically supported a ban even before it was changed in the House. He has promised to sign the bill if it passes.

Sen. Richard Cash put the incest and rape ban back in the bill. Cash, a Republican from Powdersville, was elected in 2017 in a campaign promising to do all he could to end abortion.

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

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