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abortion bill

  • The Republican controlled legislature’s conservative agenda was front and center at the Statehouse this week. Lawmakers advanced new, but not so new abortion bills, a bill that would restrict what teachers can teach in their classrooms, and elected a new Supreme Court justice that will leave the court without a female justice for the first time in 35 years.
  • The State Supreme Court’s overturning of the state’s six-week, heartbeat abortion law earlier this month is still reverberating through the State House.This week Gov. Henry McMaster again criticized the court’s decision as did some conservative legislators, and a proposed new abortion law has already advanced in the House of Representatives.
  • After a dozen meetings and sessions over the summer and fall, South Carolina efforts to pass a stricter abortion law have failed. Senators Wednesday rejected a House-backed proposal and House members didn't return for another meeting to try and work out a compromise. The bill failed in a small conference room after senators rejected the House-backed compromise again. House members did not come back after that 21-23 Senate vote to negotiate with the bill's main sponsor. South Carolina has an abortion ban after cardiac activity can be detected about six weeks after conception. But the state Supreme Court has suspended the law as it considerers whether it violates the state constitution's right to privacy, leaving a 20-week ban in place for now.
  • After a dozen meetings and sessions over the summer and fall, South Carolina lawmakers are almost out of time to do something to change the state's abortion laws during a special session prompted by the overturning of Roe v. Wade. A conference committee of state senators and House members will meet one last time Wednesday morning. They will try to sort out a compromise between the House, which wants a near total abortion ban, and the Senate, which wants to tweak the current law that amounts to a ban about six weeks after conception.
  • South Carolina senators have again rejected a proposal to ban nearly all abortions in the state. But they left open a small chance Tuesday some compromise could be reached. The stalemate in the Republican-dominated Legislature hasn't changed for weeks. The Senate voted 26-17 Tuesday to insist on its bill keeping South Carolina's current ban on abortions after cardiac activity is present, usually around six weeks. The House insisted on its own version of a full ban last month with exceptions only for pregnancies from rape or incest, or if the mother's life were threatened. The bill now goes to a conference committee.
  • Republican candidates have given wildly differing responses to South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham's plan to ban abortion nationwide at 15 weeks. A Republican Senate challenger in Colorado describes the proposed ban as "reckless." GOP Senate contenders in Georgia and Arizona have quickly pledged their support. And in Pennsylvania and Nevada, Republican Senate nominees are avoiding taking firm positions. The explosive issue threatens to upend the GOP's overwhelming political advantages just eight weeks before Election Day. Democrats have been quick to point to the measure to warn that handing control of Congress to Republicans could lead to a broader erosion of rights.
  • South Carolina lawmakers are not yet done debating new abortion restrictions. House Speaker Murrell Smith announced Monday that the lower chamber will meet on Sept. 27. By then it will have been more than two weeks since the Senate sent back a proposal that looked markedly different from the ban passed earlier by the House. The House last month passed a ban at all stages of pregnancy with exceptions for rape and incest, as well as the life of the mother. The Senate last week passed a six-week ban that is slightly more restrictive than a law that's on hold and is also based on when cardiac activity can be detected in an embryo.
  • South Carolina senators have rejected a ban on almost all abortions in a special session. Republicans had a majority of votes to pass the ban, but Republican Sen. Tom Davis threatened to filibuster and proponents of the ban were two votes short of the means of ending such a tactic. Davis was joined by the three Republican women senators, a fifth GOP colleague and all the chamber's Democrats to oppose the proposed ban. Senators did pass a few changes to the six-week ban, including cutting the time that victims of rape and incest who become pregnant can seek an abortion from 20 weeks to about 12 weeks and requiring that DNA from the aborted fetus be collected for police.
  • South Carolina senators are moving toward a showdown on a proposal to ban abortion and make no exceptions for pregnancies caused by rape or incest. Senators failed twice to get the exceptions back into the bill Wednesday. A number of the 30 Republicans in the 46-member Senate say they can't support the bill without the exceptions because they don't want 14-year-old rape victims to have to give birth. On the other side, are Republicans who consider any abortion to be a crime that ends a life. Democrats have been united against the bill.
  • South Carolina's Senate debate on an abortion ban that would no longer include exceptions for pregnancies caused by rape or incest started Wednesday with the chamber's three Republican women taking a stand against a bill they said doesn't respect women and doesn't respect life. On one side are absolutists who say any abortion ends a life. On the other are conservatives who have been watching developments in other states since Roe v. Wade was overturned. They don't want to force 14-year-old rape victims to give birth, or have mothers risk death by carrying fetuses that can't survive outside the womb. Democrats say they won't help Republicans change an awful bill into a very bad bill.