South Carolina senators reject a near-total abortion ban

Republican South Carolina Senator Tom Davis looks at papers on his desk before a debate about a bill banning abortion on Sept.

Jeffrey Collins / AP

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Jeffrey Collins / AP

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Republican South Carolina Senator Tom Davis looks at papers on his desk before a debate about a bill banning abortion on Sept.

Jeffrey Collins / AP

COLOMBIA, SC (AP) — Senators from South Carolina in a special session on Thursday rejected a ban on nearly all abortions following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade was reversed after five Republicans refused support, including all of the chamber’s women. This.

30 Republicans in the 46-member House had a majority to pass the ban, but did not have the additional votes to end a threatened filibuster by Republican Sen.

Davis, chief of staff to former Governor Mark Sanford before being elected to the Senate in 2009, was joined by three Republican women in the Senate, a fifth GOP aide and all Democratic senators to oppose the proposed ban.

Davis said he promised his daughters that he would not vote to tighten South Carolina’s current six-week abortion ban because women have rights too.

“The moment we get pregnant, we’ve lost all of our control over what’s going on with our bodies,” Davis said on what her daughters told her. “I’m here to tell you that I won’t let that happen.

After a recess to work through his options, Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey acknowledged that the abortion ban could not possibly pass.

“We were never going to pass a full abortion ban,” Massey said. “We never had the votes to pass the votes passed by the House.”

Senators made some changes to the six-week ban, including cutting the time that victims of rape and incest who become pregnant can seek abortions from 20 weeks to about 12 weeks, and is required. That the DNA from the aborted fetus be collected for the police. The bill goes back to the House, which passed the ban, with the exception of rape or incest.

South Carolina’s six-week ban is currently suspended as the state’s Supreme Court reviews whether it violates privacy rights. Meanwhile, the state’s 2016 ban on abortion after 20 weeks of gestation is in effect.

South Carolina’s General Assembly was meeting in a special session to try to join more than a dozen other states with a ban on abortion.

Most of that came through so-called trigger laws, designed to outlaw most abortions, when the US Supreme Court struck down the constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy in June. Indiana’s Legislature passed a new ban last month that did not take effect.

Debate began Wednesday in the South Carolina Senate with three Republican women saying they cannot support the bill unless rape or incest exceptions are reinstated.

Sen. Katrina Shelley said 41 men in the Senate are better off listening to their wives, daughters, mothers, granddaughters and seeing the faces of girls in Sunday school classes in their churches.

“You want to believe that God wants you to push a bill without exception that kills mothers and ruins children’s lives—letting mothers bring children home to bury—so I Looks like you’re communicating with God. Or maybe you’re not communicating with Him at all,” Shealy said before senators added a proposal to allow abortion if the fetus outside the womb survives. cannot stay.

Macy helped broker a settlement among Republicans that briefly rolled back exceptions to the bill. He pointed out that state health officials recorded nearly 3,000 abortions in 2021 within the first six weeks of pregnancy.

“The heartbeat is great, but I think it’s better,” Massey said. “I don’t think abortion should be used as a form of birth control.”

Senate Minority Leader Brad Huto said Republican women stood up for all women in South Carolina, while Republican men discouraged them. He said Democrats do not want any changes to existing laws.

“There may be a feeling that this is what we already had. It is not. It is worse in many respects,” Huto said.

Republican Gov. Henry McMaster, who has previously said he would be happy if there were no abortions in the state, said the governor’s spokesman Brian Sims, the Senate version struck the appropriate balance.

“It is the governor’s hope that the House and Senate will soon come to an agreement and send a bill to his desk for signature,” Sims said.

Republican Sen. Sandy Sen, who did not vote for a six-week ban in 2021, said the total ban would be an invasion of privacy against every woman in the state.

“If what’s going on in my vagina isn’t an unwarranted invasion of privacy to get into this legislature, I don’t know what is,” Sen said.

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