COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) — A panel of South Carolina lawmakers voted to advance a possible abortion ban Tuesday afternoon.
The House Ad-Hoc Committee was tasked with examining the state’s abortion laws and proposing any further abortion restrictions. Its members voted 9-3 to recommend legislation that would ban almost all abortions in South Carolina unless the mother’s life is at risk. There would be no exceptions for rape or incest.
“The proposed language in this bill values the lives of the innocent pre-born children conceived in criminal circumstances as the same as all other pre-born children,” Committee Chairman John McCravy, a Greenwood Republican, said,
McCravy said the proposed ban would not interfere with access to contraceptives and would not impact in vitro fertilization pregnancies.
Three of the four Democrats on the panel voted against the recommendation, including Rep. Chandra Dillard of Greenville, who said state lawmakers need more time to understand the ramifications of a full ban.
“Roe v Wade was the law of the land for 50 years,” Dillard said. “I don’t believe we can answer South Carolina’s issue on how it’s going to impact us in two meetings. It’s going to take us more time, and we need to do that before it becomes a crisis in this state.”
House Majority Leader Rep. Davey Hiott of Pickens said this is a ‘huge opportunity” for South Carolina.
“We’re talking about life,” he said. “The most precious thing somebody can have. We have the opportunity to provide that for a lot of unborn children.”
Under the recommendation approved by the committee, McCravy said mothers would be immune from criminal prosecution.
The recommendation is now on its way to the House Judiciary Committee.
South Carolina six-week ban is currently in effect. It includes exceptions for rape or incest.