Columbia, SC (WJBF) – The South Carolina Senate has passed a bill that would outlaw abortions after 19 weeks of pregnancy, except to save the life of the mother or in cases of extreme fetal anomalies.
There are no exceptions for rape or incest. If the South Carolina House of Representatives goes along with the bill, it will go to Governor Nikki Haley’s desk.
State Senator Larry Grooms (R-Berkeley), sponsor of the Senate version of the bill, says, “What we now know, it’s not disputed, unborn children feel pain. You can scientifically demonstrate that after 20 weeks of pregnancy an unborn child feels pain like an adult. Based on that scientific fact, the courts have upheld similar legislation.”
He says there’s no exception for rape or incest because, even though those babies are conceived in tragic circumstances, the babies themselves are innocent.
State Senator Brad Hutto (D-Orangeburg) voted against the bill. “Under Roe versus Wade, women have a right to an abortion and women get to make that decision,” he says. “So the notion that we would pass a bill that would somehow restrict their rights and say there will be no exceptions for rape and incest, I’m opposed to that.”
The House took a vote Thursday on whether to go along with the Senate and it failed by one vote. State Representative Greg Delleney (R-Chester), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, says it was just a test vote to see where things stand and that several supporters were not present, so he expects the House to pass the bill next week.
Fifteen states, including North Carolina and Georgia, have passed similar laws. Arkansas passed a law outlawing abortions after 12 weeks if a fetal heartbeat is detected. Lower courts blocked the law from taking effect, however, and earlier this year the U.S. Supreme Court upheld those lower courts.