Just over a week after South Carolina’s state house passed a near-total abortion ban, the bill was defeated Thursday during a special session of the state Senate, where it was defeated by moderate Republicans and Democrats.
Five GOP senators refused to support legislation that would have banned most abortions from the moment of conception, except for medical emergencies that threaten the life of the mother. Opponents included the three Republican women in the State Senate, Sens. Penry Gustafson, Sandy Senn and Katrina Shealy, as well as State Senator Tom Davis, who was previously chief of staff to former Gov. Mark Sanford (R) elected to the Senate in 2009, and Senator Greg Hembree.
During the debate, Shealy chided her male colleagues, saying they should consult the women in their lives before trying to pass an abortion ban with no exceptions on rape or incest. reported the Associated Press.
“If you want to believe that God wants you to enforce a law across the board that kills mothers and ruins the lives of children – letting mothers bring babies home to bury them – then I believe you are miscommunicating with God. Or maybe you don’t communicate with Him at all,” Shealy said before senators changed the law to allow abortions when a baby cannot survive outside the womb.
But Davis, the father of three daughters, said he would filibuster any attempt to enact abortion restrictions beyond the state’s current six-week ban.
“The moment we get pregnant, we lost all control of what happens to our bodies,” Davis said, reportedly sharing what his daughters told him. “I’m here to tell you I won’t let that happen.”
After the filibuster threat, Republican Majority Leader Senator Shane Massey conceded that the abortion ban could not be enacted.
“I didn’t want to go here. I was hoping we would be more aggressive, but I realize there are no votes in the Senate to ban abortion six weeks ago,” Massey said. according to post office and courier. “We don’t have the votes”
Instead, the Senate passed a measure to strengthen South Carolina’s fetal heartbeat law, which went into effect after the US Supreme Court was overturned Roe v. calf. The law prohibits abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected by ultrasound, except for rape, incest, and maternal life. However, this law was locked temporarily by the state Supreme Court after Planned Parenthood sued South Atlantic, saying it violated the privacy protections of the state constitution.
Lawmakers voted 27-16 on a bill that changes language in the Fetal Heartbeat Act, which the state Supreme Court highlighted in its decision to issue an injunction barring the law last month. The Senate-passed bill also cuts the time it takes for a rape or incest victim to request an abortion from 20 weeks to 13 weeks.
Current state law requires allegations of rape and incest to be reported to local law enforcement within 24 hours of a victim having an abortion. The Senate proposed a new requirement that within 90 days of the abortion, a DNA sample from the aborted child be taken by a doctor and sent to law enforcement for preservation as evidence. WRDW TV reports.
In addition, the Senate bill increases the number of doctors who must approve an abortion for fetal abnormalities from one to two. The doctors have to confirm that the baby could not survive outside the womb.
The fetal heartbeat law amendments now go to the state House, where representatives will either approve the Senate’s amendments or seek to pass another version of the near-total abortion ban that the Senate has already rejected. The latter action would likely result in no law being passed at all.
Gov. Henry McMaster (R) said in a statement he will sign the legislation that lawmakers agree to.
“The Senate bill — just like the House bill — strikes a proper balance,” McMaster spokesman Brian Symmes told the Post and Courier. “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.”
Meanwhile, the state’s 20-week abortion ban remains in effect.
https://www.theblaze.com/news/liberal-republicans-in-south-carolina-state-senate-kill-abortion-ban Liberal Republicans in South Carolina State Senate break abortion ban