Rape and incest exceptions quietly added to SC abortion bill

State - Regional

South Carolina Sen. Danny Verdin, R-Laurens, speaks on the Senate floor on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021 in Columbia, S.C. Verdin is chairman of the Senate Medical Affairs Committee which approved a stricter ban on abortions. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina senators have quietly added exceptions for rape and incest to a bill that would attempt to ban almost all abortions in the state.

The change Tuesday likely boosts the proposal’s chances of finally passing the chamber and becoming law. Federal law would still allow women to obtain abortions.

The state bill would outlaw abortions after a fetal heartbeat could be detected, usually by the eighth week of a pregnancy. Most women don’t know they are pregnant that early.

Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey spoke for 90 seconds suggesting the change. Senate President Harvey Peeler asked senators to vote “Aye” or “Nay” out loud and quickly ruled it passed.

The final vote on the whole bill could come as soon as Thursday.

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