South Carolina legislature sends 6-week abortion ban to governor’s desk


six weeks of controversy abortion ban After passing the state Senate on Tuesday, the bill will be sent to the desk of South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster to be signed into law.

The state Senate approved a House amendment to the bill in a 27-19 vote after the House passed it last week.

Senate Bill 474, known as the “Fetal Heartbeat and Abortion Protection Act,“Will ban most abortions after early heart activity is detected in the fetus or embryo, often as early as six weeks’ gestation before many women know they are pregnant. State license to practice law and could face felony charges, fines and jail time.

mcmaster says Twitter After the vote, he looked forward to “signing this bill into law as soon as possible.”

The bill includes exceptions for saving a patient’s life and fatal fetal abnormalities, as well as a limited exception of up to 12 weeks for victims of rape and incest, and requires doctors to report to local law enforcement. It also contains an amendment added by the House requiring the “natural father” to pay child support from the time of conception.

It remains to be seen whether the measure will survive court challenges once signed into law.South Carolina passed Similar six-week abortion ban in 2021but the state Supreme Court struck down it earlier this year, arguing that the state constitution’s privacy protection requirements limit the process and give women enough time to end their pregnancies.

With McMaster’s signature, South Carolina will join a list of Republican-led states that have backed sweeping abortion restrictions after the Supreme Court ruling last year overturned Roe v. Wade.However, there is strong disapproval, in some cases in elected evidenceThe strict restrictions have created a complicated political landscape in some states, including South Carolina.

Recent efforts to pass further restrictions on abortion shaken in april When the state Senate failed to pass the Human Life Protection Act, which would have banned most abortions in the state, in a 22-21 vote, several Republicans voted against it. The bill, which had previously passed the state legislature, included exceptions in cases of rape or incest.

A bipartisan group of five congresswomen The state Senate combined to try to block the bill from passing on Tuesday. However, the three Republicans who joined them a few weeks ago blocked a tougher blanket abortion ban during the regular session, voting in favor of a six-week ban.

Republican state Sen. Katrina Healy, before voting against it, tried to push an amendment that would change the limit to 12 weeks for abortions and 20 weeks for victims of rape and incest.

“Men are 100 percent responsible for pregnancy,” Shelley said as she introduced her amendment. “Men are fertile 100% of the time. So now is the time for the men in this room and men in that hall and across South Carolina to take responsibility for ejaculation.”

Senate Republicans who voted for the bill pushed back on their colleagues’ assertions, noting that they view the revised legislation as a compromise.

“So, under the law, we say we’re going to draw the line by a majority vote, and we can kill that person, on what basis is that based?” asked Republican state Sen. Richard Cash. “That’s what this debate is all about. I mean, I’ll be the first to say this is a deeply flawed bill that we’re going to vote on, this fetal heartbeat bill, full of inconsistencies and exceptions. Human life was not protected.”

The “sister senators” — three Republicans, one Democrat and one independent — insisted during Tuesday’s debate that the changes made by the House, particularly changes to the definitions of certain terms, were essentially Changed the version of the bill passed by the Senate.

Republican Senator Sandy Senn, who voted against the bill, expressed particular concern about a provision the House added to the bill that would give the state “protection of the health of women and the life of their unborn babies from the very beginning of their pregnancy.” .”

The change in the House was a key reason why Republican Senator Penri Gustafson voted against the bill on Tuesday, after voting in February for an earlier version of the six-week ban.

Gustafson told CNN’s Abby Phillips, “They pretty much passed the bill, inserted their own language, their own definitions, the extra ‘given’ fact-finding clause, which could give South Carolina State Supreme Court brings problems.” “It’s not the same bill at all. I don’t support it.”

Shortly after the bill passed, Planned Parenthood of the South Atlantic Twitter“We have only one thing to say to the State of South Carolina: See you in court.”

This story has been updated with more information.

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