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South Carolina bill would ban 97 percent of state's abortions — and a Democrat is responsible

The South Carolina state Senate is considering a bill that would ban 97 percent of all abortions in the state, except in cases of rape, incest, and serious risk to the mother. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Update: After a Democratic filibuster, the Senate voted late Thursday night to send the bill back to committee, effectively killing it for the rest of the year, according to The Charleston Post and Courier.

The South Carolina Senate is considering a bill with an amendment that would ban 97 percent of all abortions in the state — and it was proposed by a Democrat, The State reported.

The bill would ban all abortions except those related to rape, incest, or medical emergencies that could seriously harm or kill the mother’s life.

What’s the story?

The Senate has been debating a bill banning “dismemberment abortions,” which are late-term abortions in which the fetus is pulled apart and removed piece-by-piece.

Democratic state Sen. Brad Hutto, tired of repeatedly debating the issue of abortion, proposed that the Senate amend the bill to ban nearly all abortions, to give the Legislature an opportunity to vote on the issue and, if necessary, let the courts decide on an abortion ban.

Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey said he hopes the bill will give them a chance to challenge Roe v. Wade.

If the sweeping abortion ban was to pass, it would likely be challenged in court. Hutto, an attorney, believes the ban would be ruled unconstitutional.

“It’s an attempt to get it to the courts so we don’t have to keep debating it over and over and over,” Hutto said.

Hutto believes it’s important for the Legislature to settle the abortion issue so they can spend their time addressing other things. In proposing the amendment, he challenged the state’s Republicans to show their cards on abortion.

“If you want to vote on it, this is your vote,” Hutto said to the Republicans. “If you want to dance on this one, you can see it on the commercials when you get home for your next election.”

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has said he would sign any pro-life bill that crosses his desk.

Potential impact

According to The State, the bill would ban about 97 percent of the approximately 5,700 abortions performed in South Carolina annually.

While the Senate voted 28-10 in favor of the bill, it needs one more vote to pass the Senate, and Democrats will likely filibuster to delay a final Senate vote. If passed, the bill would then go to the House.

(H/T The Hill)

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