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Sc General Assembly finally passes school choice bill total abortion ban again fails to pass SC Senate

The South Carolina Senate
Russ McKinney
SC Public Radio
The South Carolina Senate

With just six legislative days remaining in this year’s session of the General Assembly, Republican lawmakers are scrambling to pass as much of their agenda as possible. This week they claimed a long-sought victory for school choice but saw a new restrictive abortion bill scuttled in the State Senate.

For years school choice advocates have been working to see a state law that would allow parents to use state money to send students to private or religious schools. This week the House of Representatives gave final approval to a bill that would allow that. House Speaker Murrell Smith called it, "an historic day." House Education Committee Chair Shannon Ericson said, "families need options for their educational choices."

Once again, Republicans in the Senate were unable to pass a bill that would ban almost all abortions. The House passed the bill earlier this session. It would ban abortions after conception with just a few exceptions.

The three days of debate this week sounded much like earlier Senate debates with a handful of Republicans joining with Democrats in opposing the bill. Once again, the five women members of the Senate were against it.

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.