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Tags: south carolina | abortion | roe v wade

Bill Banning Nearly All Abortions Advances in South Carolina

Bill Banning Nearly All Abortions Advances in South Carolina
Pregnancy test kits sit next to a half-empty shelf in a drug store in Annapolis, Maryland. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 17 August 2022 05:26 PM EDT

The South Carolina House Judiciary Committee advanced a bill Tuesday that would prohibit abortions in almost all circumstances in a 13-7 vote that was largely along party lines, The Hill reports.

The bill would ban abortions in the Palmetto State except in cases where the life or health of the mother is at risk.

"The No. 1 thing that this bill does is to end the practice of abortion being used as birth control in our state," Republican state Rep. John McCravy, who helped craft the bill, said at Tuesday's hearing.

"The No. 1 thing the bill does not do is to endanger the health care of women in any way," he continued. "In fact, this was the No. 1 misconception we found repeated in the public hearing."

According to The Hill, five committee members did not vote.

The measure now heads to the state House floor for consideration.

Abortion in South Carolina is currently allowed until a fetal heartbeat is detected, usually around six weeks into a pregnancy. Before performing an abortion, doctors must do an ultrasound to see if a heartbeat can be found.

State House GOP members introduced the bill 10 days after the Supreme Court draft opinion was leaked in May, revealing that the justices seemed likely to reverse Roe v. Wade. In June, the court ruled that Roe was "wrongly decided" in 1973 and struck down the federally established right to abortion.

While some states had trigger laws on the books that automatically restricted abortion following the court's decision, South Carolina Republican lawmakers began the process of drafting new abortion regulations.

Along with a concurring opinion from Justice Clarence Thomas, the court's decision has created concern that constitutional protections for contraception will also be scrapped.

At Tuesday's hearing, McCravy said that lawmakers added clarifying language to the bill to ensure legal protections for contraceptives.

The legislation would make it illegal for doctors to perform the controversial procedure unless it prevents the death, a significant risk of death or significant and irrevocable physical impairment of a major bodily function of the mother.

In those cases, the doctor is required to make a "reasonable" medical effort to save the life of the unborn child if it can be done while avoiding risk to the mother's life or health.

The unborn child's father, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and mother can bring legal action and plaintiffs are entitled to $10,000 in statutory damages for each violation, according to The Hill.

"We talk about Christianity, this is like B.C.-type mentality," state Rep. Justin Bamberg, a Democrat, said at Tuesday's hearing.

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Politics
The South Carolina House Judiciary Committee advanced a bill Tuesday that would prohibit abortions in almost all circumstances in a 13-7 vote that was largely along party lines, The Hill reports.
south carolina, abortion, roe v wade
431
2022-26-17
Wednesday, 17 August 2022 05:26 PM
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