Sunday, May 19 2024

A bill banning abortion past 19 weeks in South Carolina could be heading to Gov. Nikki Haley’s desk by week’s end. Senate Democrats have blocked the legislation for years but, Sen. Brad Hutto, a leading opponent, says he still believes it should be the woman’s choice. However, he says the compromise he’s worked on since last year is “the best we can get.” As it passed the House, the bill gave an exception only for the mother’s life. The thinking is that a woman who’s a victim of rape or incest would decide whether to abort before the fifth month of pregnancy. Published reports say this legislation would set that as a deadline. The Senate approved the legislation 36-9 Tuesday that allows exceptions only if the mother’s life is in jeopardy or a doctor determines the fetus can’t survive outside the womb. The measure’s limited definition of “fetal anomaly” means it would be illegal to abort a fetus with a severe disability if the child could live. There are no exceptions for rape or incest.

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