JAMES POLLARD (American News/Report)
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (AP) — The South Carolina Senate on Tuesday approved and pledged to sign into law a bill banning most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy (before most people know they are pregnant). sent to the governor.
The proposal would reinstate a ban South Carolina had in place when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year. The ban was overturned by the state Supreme Court after it took effect, citing a violation of state constitutional rights to privacy.
Republicans have sought an answer to this ruling. That’s because the ruling made abortions legal up to the 22nd week of pregnancy, and as other Southern states enacted stricter laws, the number of abortions performed in South Carolina surged.
The bill includes exceptions for fatal fetal abnormalities, patient life and health, rape and incest for up to 12 weeks. Doctors face felony charges and face up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
The chance for the Republican-led Senate to pass the bill came after the South Carolina House of Representatives withdrew a proposal to ban abortion during pregnancy almost completely. Senators failed to get a vote in favor of the proposal after three attempts.
The vote also urged other members of the Senate to adopt a 12-week abortion ban as three Republican women in the Senate battle additional restrictions a month after collaborating on a near-total ban filibuster. was done later. They joined all Democrats in voting against the bill.
In fiery speeches, three female Republican lawmakers said the 12-week proposal didn’t give women enough time to make decisions, and criticized changes such as requiring child support from the time they were pregnant to be ridiculous. . Republican Senator Katrina Seeley endorsed the 12-week ban as a “real compromise.”
Republicans said they had adjusted parts of the new law to pass judicial review. The author of the 3-2 state Supreme Court opinion overturning the ban was also replaced because he was forced to retire due to old age.
Seeley and Republican Senator Penry Gustafson pushed back on claims that they were not true Christians, citing their stance.
“We, the South Carolina legislature, are not gods. We don’t know what’s going on in other people’s lives. We don’t have the right to make decisions on behalf of others,” Seeley said. rice field.
House Republicans also repealed parts of the bill that would allow minors up to 12 weeks pregnant to file an abortion request in court.
Republican Majority Leader Shane Massey said last week that new regulations and definitions inserted by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives in South Carolina were delayed by two days of proceedings delayed by hundreds of Democratic amendments. was outlined.
The female senators entered the state capitol in unison on Tuesday, cheered by dozens of abortion rights supporters on the main floor. All five have a button that says ‘Elect more women’.
This week marks the fourth time abortion has been addressed by Congress since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022. During last month’s filibuster, five women criticized the male leadership’s repeated calls for debate. Continuing from the well, they sometimes talked about the body changes that occur during pregnancy and highlighted individual problems they wanted to solve.
Fifteen Democrats in the Senate oppose both abortion bans, leaving it largely to the Republican majority to debate the issue among themselves. Opponents argue that South Carolina’s high maternal mortality rate (with worse outcomes for black patients) will get worse under the new regulations.
Abortions are currently legal in South Carolina up to 22 weeks, but other regulations at three of the state’s clinics have largely blocked access beyond the first trimester. But amid Republican disagreements over how far access should be restricted, the law hasn’t changed and only recently began working toward a resolution.
Republican leaders focused on preliminary data from the state health department showing an increase in abortions in South Carolina.
The action comes a week after Republicans in the North Carolina legislature moved to overrule a Democratic governor’s veto to enact a 12-week abortion ban, making Virginia the last relatively easily accessible state in the region. state.
Lawmakers anticipate legal challenges to any ban that will eventually become law. In January of this year, the South Carolina Supreme Court overturned a similar 2021 law in a 3-2 ruling as a violation of the state’s constitutional right to privacy. But many Republicans believe the updated version will stand even after changing both the wording of the proposal and the composition of the court.
James Pollard is a reporting officer for the Associated Press/United States Congressional News Initiative. Report for America is a non-profit national service program that sends journalists to local newsrooms to report on cover-up issues.
https://www.mcall.com/2023/05/23/south-carolina-ready-to-renew-abortion-ban-around-6-weeks-of-pregnancy-after-senate-vote/ South Carolina ready to renew abortion ban around 6 weeks after Senate vote – Wake-up call