SC mulls ban on nearly all abortions


Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C.

The South Carolina Senate debated Thursday whether to ban nearly all abortions in the state, a surprise move suggested by a Democrat who has long fought abortion restrictions.

Sen. Brad Hutto told Republicans if the bill passed he was going to give them what they wanted – the most direct way to challenge the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned state bans on abortions. No other state would have such a broad abortion ban.

“I’ve heard all along that y’all want a challenge to Roe v. Wade. This is a straight-up challenge,” the Orangeburg Democrat said.

But there may have been more local political considerations, too. The ban was placed on a bill that originally made illegal just a rare procedure called dismemberment abortion. And senators Thursday narrowly failed to force a vote on the new proposal.

Lawmakers had just three days left in a session set to end May 10 and hadn’t dealt with several pressing issues including bills dealing with a $9 billion debacle after two utilities abandoned 10 years of planning and construction of two nuclear reactors.

If the abortion bill passes the Senate, it would head to the more conservative House, but a leader of the chamber said he doesn’t think his colleagues will support the full ban – at least until the U.S. Supreme Court takes up another state’s case.

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