More restrictive abortion bill advances in S.C. General Assembly
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Three weeks to the day after the state’s six-week ban on abortion was struck down, a new abortion bill is now under consideration at the State House.
This legislation is even more restrictive than the one the court just ruled unconstitutional.
The lead sponsor says he believes a concurring opinion written by one of the state’s Supreme Court justices – in that ruling striking down the six-week ban – leaves the door open that the court might uphold a more restrictive bill.
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“He weighed the life of a fetus against the right to privacy,” said Rep. John McCravy, R-Greenwood. “In his opinion, however, he stated that if the legislature had found that a human life begins at conception, the interest of a human life would outweigh the right to privacy.”
McCravy says that’s satisfied in this new bill – whose 40-plus other sponsors include the top Republicans in the House of Representatives.
The bill bans abortion from conception – with exceptions for the life and health of the mother, fatal fetal anomalies, and victims of rape and incest – who’d be required to report the assault to law enforcement.
People who perform abortions would face criminal charges, but women seeking an abortion would not.
A House subcommittee advanced the bill to the full Judiciary Committee on Thursday in a 3-0 vote – with the only Democrats on the panel not there to vote because of scheduling conflicts.
Spencer Wetmore, D-Charleston – who doesn’t sit on this subcommittee – says she believes this bill has legal and political issues.
“I certainly respect and understand the conviction of the advocates behind this bill. I really do,” she said. “But at some point, you have to accept that if the legislature said no, the Supreme Court said, no, and here we are, trying it one more time.”
During a special session last fall, the Senate didn’t have enough votes to pass a ban from conception – and the same senators still hold their seats this year.
McCravy says he believes it can pass both chambers – but it’s unclear how at this point.
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