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SC House of Representatives

  • Flush with extra money to spend, South Carolina's House and Senate still haven't reached a deal on the state's $13 billion spending plan set to start July 1. While no one is talking publicly about what is causing the delay, an obvious sign of problems came Wednesday, when House Speaker Murrell Smith presided over a nearly empty House chamber. Members were supposed to meet for a session to approve the compromise.
  • The South Carolina Senate has approved a bill that would ban most abortions after around six weeks of pregnancy, sending the bill to the governor who has promised to sign it. The proposal passed on Tuesday restores the ban South Carolina had in place when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year. That ban was overturned by the state’s highest court because it violated the state Constitution’s right to privacy.
  • South Carolina is close to joining its Southern neighbors in further curtailing abortion access. The Republican-led state Senate on Tuesday is expected to consider a bill banning most abortions after an ultrasound detects cardiac activity, generally around six weeks and before most patients know they are pregnant. The proposal cleared the state House last week following nearly 24 hours of proceedings split across two days over hundreds of Democrats' amendments. But additional regulations inserted by the House are provoking Republican ire that could prolong the debate. Those changes include requiring child support beginning at conception and limiting minors' ability to petition the court for an abortion.
  • South Carolina is a step closer to having a six-week abortion law again.
  • As more Southern states pass new restrictions on abortion, Virginia is poised to become an outlier in the region for its relatively permissive laws. That could set up Virginia as a destination for women seeking abortions and raise questions about providers' capacity to meet demand. South Carolina is among the last bastions in the region for those seeking legal abortions, but that status could end soon. Access would be almost entirely banned after about six weeks of pregnancy under a bill expected that passed the House Wednesday but still needs Senate approval. And most abortions after 12 weeks will be banned in North Carolina after the state legislature successfully overrode the Democratic governor's veto Tuesday.
  • The Republican-controlled South Carolina House is expected to debate a bill that would ban abortion as soon as cardiac activity is detected. The debate on Tuesday comes after the state Senate rejected a proposal to nearly outlaw the procedure as soon as conception. The chambers' disagreement over restrictions epitomizes fault lines that have developed between Republicans nationwide since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade. The measure in the House would ban abortion when an ultrasound detects cardiac activity, around six weeks and before most people know they are pregnant. Opponents say a ban around six weeks is essentially an "outright abortion ban."
  • South Carolina Republicans are one step closer to restricting how race gets taught in K-12 classrooms. As Republicans nationwide push bans on so-called "critical race theory," the state Senate passed a likeminded effort Wednesday in a late night 27-10 vote after nearly six hours of debate. Parents could challenge any educational materials they say violate banned teachings around white privilege and implicit bias under a bill sent back to the GOP-controlled House. Republicans say the bill keeps subjective opinions out of the classroom and allows parents to know what their children are learning. Opponents say it will sanitize the truth and increase stressors on a profession already experiencing record vacancies.
  • South Carolina Republicans are pushing new abortion restrictions in an attempt to curtail access after a near-total ban failed last month. A Senate bill that would ban abortion except in the earliest weeks of pregnancy moved quickly Tuesday through the South Carolina House in the first sign that Republican leaders may be close to restoring limits passed in 2021 but overturned by the state Supreme Court. The measure seeks to ban abortion when an ultrasound detects cardiac activity, around six weeks and before most women know they are pregnant. It now goes to the House floor for a vote before returning to the Senate.
  • Abortion bans in deeply conservative Nebraska and South Carolina each fell a single vote short of passing in their legislatures amid heated debates among Republicans. It's another sign that abortion is becoming a difficult issue for the GOP. Cheers erupted outside the legislative chamber in Nebraska on Thursday as the last vote was counted. Opponents of the bill waved signs and chanted, "Whose house? Our house!" In South Carolina, Thursday's vote was the third attempt since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last summer to strict bans on abortion.
  • The South Carolina Senate is no closer to passing a near-total abortion ban than the last time they shot down the proposal. A 22-21 vote Thursday marks the third time a near-total abortion ban has failed to pass the Republican-led chamber since the U.S. Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade last summer. The chamber's five women filibustered the proposal in speeches highlighting the Senate's male majority. The result maintains a legislative stalemate between the House and Senate over when to ban abortion. Majority Leader Shane Massey says the House must pass a different Senate bill if lawmakers have any shot at restricting abortion by the time the session ends on May 11.