South Carolina Senate blocks abortion ban bill in late-night vote

  • South Carolina Senate blocks abortion ban bill in late-night vote

South Carolina Senate blocks abortion ban bill in late-night vote

Lawmakers had been debating legislation to ban the so-called "dilation and evacuation" (D&E) abortion procedure, known as dismemberment abortion because it functions by tearing a preborn baby apart limb by limb.

SC senators have refused to end debate and vote on a bill that would ban almost all abortions in the state.

South Atlantic Planned Parenthood said the decision by senators to send the bill back to committee just after midnight Thursday after a daylong Democratic filibuster shows there are strong leaders willing to put the people of SC above politics. No other state would have such a broad abortion ban.

The bill would prohibit abortions with the exception of rape, incest or prevent serious health risks to the mother. "This is a straight up challenge", the Orangeburg Democrat said. The ban was placed on a bill that originally made illegal just a rare procedure called dismemberment abortion. A vote came at 1 a.m. ET, when Democrats were certain they had enough votes to send the proposal back to committee.

It's not the first time the SC legislation has tried to push through a bill that would give rights to unborn babies.

On Wednesday, lawmakers in Iowa voted to ban most abortions if a fetal heart beat is detected. But those states all provide immunity for a woman who has an abortion.

Democrats also suggested it could even ban the use of birth control pills or intrauterine devices. It was used only 22 times in the 5,736 abortion procedures performed in the state previous year.

If the sweeping abortion ban was to pass, it would likely be challenged in court.

Simrill said unless the U.S. Supreme Court overturns its ruling in Roe v. Wade, the General Assembly must work within existing legal precedents to protect fetuses instead of passing unconstitutional laws. "I think everybody really recognizes what we're getting to is a judicial determination of the constitutionality of it".

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has said he would sign any pro-life bill that crosses his desk.

"Sometimes you have to fight for what you believe in", said McMaster, who is seeking re-election this year and has four challengers in the Republican primary.