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After 30 Years of Trying S.C. Senate Passes Abortion Bill

House Speaker Jay Lucas (L) and Senate Republican Leader Shane Massey discuss the Fetal Heartbeat Bill at the Statehouse on Wednesday, Jan. 26th.
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

It took 16 attempts over 30 years, but this week the State Senate passed a bill that bans most abortions in the state. Using its new commanding Republican majority the Senate approved the so-called "fetal heartbeat" bill which prohibits doctors from performing an abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected. That usually occurs six to eight weeks into a pregnancy. The vote was along party lines. Charleston’s Sandy Senn … one of three Republican women members was the only Republican to join with Democrats in opposing the measure. The bill now goes to the House where easier passage is expected.

Russ McKinney has 30 years of experience in radio news and public affairs. He is a former broadcast news reporter in Spartanburg, Columbia and Atlanta. He served as Press Secretary to former S.C. Governor Dick Riley for two terms, and for 20 years was the chief public affairs officer for the University of South Carolina.