South Carolina House passes near-complete ban on abortions with only limited exceptions for incest and rape

When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, the ruling allowed individual states to once again set their own more or less restrictive rules and regulations on abortion procedures, and numerous state legislatures have seized upon that opportunity.

South Carolina is one example, where the state House just passed a bill that would ban virtually all abortions after the moment of conception with only limited exceptions for pregnancies stemming from incest or rape, Breitbart reported.

The House had initially attempted to pass a near-total ban on abortions without the exceptions for incest and rape but fell a few votes shy, but a second attempt after the exceptions were added passed by an overwhelming margin of 67-38.

The bill still has to clear another procedural vote in the House before moving on to the Senate, where its fate is uncertain, after which, if passed, it will land on the desk of pro-life Gov. Henry McMaster (R).

Exceptions added after the failure of an initial total ban

Local NBC affiliate WYFF reported that the initial version of the bill without any exceptions had fallen short of passage in the House by just eight votes.

After that failure came intense debate and various parliamentary procedures to not only revive the bill but add in the incest and rape exceptions, which reportedly took some convincing of some staunch conservative members who were opposed to the exceptions but ultimately relented and voted in support of the amended measure.

Rep. John McCravy (R), who helped guide the bill to passage, told the outlet, “But here’s the thing — at the end of the day we passed a good pro-life bill in South Carolina.”

Exceptions for incest, rape, and life of the mother

The Associated Press reported that the limited exceptions in the House bill allow for a 12-week period in which a pregnant mother can inform her doctor of the incest or rape and receive an abortion. However, the doctor is required to inform the mother that the incident and their contact information will be reported to the local county sheriff and that they have 24 hours to make that report.

In addition to the incest and rape exceptions, the bill also has the standard exception to allow abortions in cases where the life of the mother is threatened by certain listed medical emergencies.

The AP further noted that South Carolina’s legislature passed a six-week abortion ban in 2021 that had initially gone into effect but has since been temporarily blocked by a state court due to pending litigation on that law’s constitutionality.

With that six-week ban now blocked, the Palmetto State has reverted to its prior 20-week ban on abortions that had previously been in effect.

It remains to be seen what the outcome of this near-total abortion ban will be, as the AP noted such measures typically face “tougher fights” in South Carolina’s Senate, nor is it clear that Gov. McMaster will sign it into law if passed, though the outlet noted that he has previously expressed his desire to see no abortions performed in the state whatsoever in the future.

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