COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina Home on Wednesday overwhelmingly handed a invoice banning almost all abortions, following the lead of different states with related measures that might go into impact if the U.S. Supreme Courtroom had been to overturn Roe v. Wade.
The invoice faces a remaining procedural vote within the Home on Thursday that’s unlikely to vary the end result and can then be despatched to the governor for his signature. Republican Gov. Henry McMaster has promised to signal the measure as quickly as attainable.
The Senate permitted the measure on Jan. 28, after years of failed makes an attempt. Republicans gained three seats within the 2020 elections and the newly energized 30-16 Republican majority made the proposal Senate Invoice No. 1.
“That is the best pro-life invoice this state has ever handed,” stated Republican Rep. David Hiott of Pickens.
The “ South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act ” requires medical doctors to carry out ultrasounds to test for a heartbeat within the fetus. If one is detected, the abortion can solely be carried out if the being pregnant was brought on by rape or incest or the mom’s life is in peril.
The invoice wouldn’t punish a pregnant lady for getting an unlawful abortion, however the one who carried out the abortion may very well be charged with a felony, sentenced as much as two years and fined $10,000 if discovered responsible.
A couple of dozen different states have handed related or extra restrictive abortion bans, which might take impact if the U.S. Supreme Courtroom — with three justices appointed by Republican former President Donald Trump — had been to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 court docket determination supporting abortion rights.
Teams that oppose the invoice will doubtless sue, maintaining the legislation from going into impact. All the bans handed by different states are tied up in court docket challenges.
Whereas Wednesday’s Home approval was almost a foregone conclusion, the highway there was rocky. One Republican lawmaker who needed a stricter legislation saying fetuses have the rights of all residents at conception threw up his papers and stormed out in a ruckus that angered the speaker. Most Democrats walked out of the chamber to protest the invoice. They needed to come again when a member of the get together who left and returned made the uncommon request to have the clerk learn the entire invoice out loud earlier than the vote, prompting Republicans to require that each one lawmakers be current.
Throughout the walkout, Republicans worn out greater than 100 proposed amendments. After holding a information convention to talk in opposition to the invoice, a number of Democrats returned to precise their opposition to the measure, which has come up for debate within the legislature quite a few instances over the previous decade. Lawmakers permitted the invoice by a vote of 79-35. Two Democrats voted for the ban, and two Republicans voted in opposition to it.
“You like the fetus within the womb. However when it’s born, it’s a unique response,” stated Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter of Orangeburg, the Home’s longest serving member at 29 years. Cobb-Hunter famous how the Basic Meeting made the abortion invoice a precedence over training, a number of COVID-19 payments and nearly every little thing else, and the way some supporters of the ban balked at any requirement earlier this 12 months that they put on masks whereas on the Home flooring and in committee conferences.
“’The federal government not having any enterprise mandating face masks’ sounds to me actual near ‘the federal government not having any enterprise telling a lady what to do along with her physique,’” Cobb-Hunter stated.
Quite a few Republican lawmakers spoke in favor of the invoice and plenty of cheered after the vote. Supporters of the ban stood exterior the Home chambers applauding and hugging the lawmakers that pushed the toughest for the measure.
Rep. Melissa Lackey Oremus stated she was 16 and within the prime of her class when she had “slightly enjoyable one night time — an excessive amount of” and obtained pregnant.
The Republican from Aiken and now 42-year-old mom of three stated she was not sure what to do till she had an ultrasound wand rubbed over her stomach and heard her kid’s heartbeat.
“That sound to me was, I had a human being within me,” Oremus stated. “That sound, it was essentially the most lovely sound to me. How might I’ve a option to kill that sound, to make it go away?”
The talk was briefly stopped by a Republican when Rep. Jonathon Hill, apparently offended his amendments to fully ban all abortions weren’t being thought of, stormed to the Home’s heart aisle, threw his amendments up within the air and walked out.
One other consultant picked up the papers.
“If it had been me, it will have stayed on the ground and I’d haven’t allowed him again within the chamber till he picked it up,” Home Speaker Jay Lucas stated. “We’re a legislative physique. Now we have debate. We aren’t kids. We do not throw tantrums after we lose.”
Hill wasn’t instantly punished for his habits.
Observe Jeffrey Collins on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JSCollinsAP.
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