South Carolina House Passes 6-Week Abortion Ban After Hours of Grueling Debate
South Carolina lawmakers voted late Wednesday to ban abortions past six weeks, passing the state’s House of Representatives 82 to 33 after roughly 24 hours of contentious debate.
The bill is an amended version of a six-week ban that was approved by the Senate in February, and will head back to the Senate for another vote. If passed, the bill would be sent to Gov. Henry McMaster, who has staunchly expressed his support of a six-week ban. If signed, the ban would take effect immediately.
South Carolina is among the last refuges in the American South for those seeking legal abortions; if passed, the ban would make Virginia an outlier as a state where women still have unrestricted access to abortions. On Tuesday, North Carolina’s legislature passed a 12-week abortion ban in the state, overriding Democratic Governor Roy Cooper’s veto of the proposal earlier this week, and Nebraska advanced a similar 12-week ban.
Following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, South Carolina joins a slew of states implementing highly restrictive measures against women seeking abortion care, and the physicians providing them.
South Carolina Democratic lawmakers had filed more than 1,000 amendments to the legislation, with debates dragging for hours over multiple days.
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“We have no intention of pulling any amendments,” Democratic state Rep. Beth Bernstein told CNN. “We are going to make it hurt if they are going to force this on us.”
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