clearn.png
Saturday September 21st, 2019 5:07AM

SC to consider abortion ban; bill faces uncertain future

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A small group of South Carolina senators held a daylong hearing Tuesday on whether South Carolina should join about a half-dozen other states in banning nearly all abortions , but the Southern state might not be ready to follow some of its conservative compatriots.

About 25 people spoke during the carefully scripted hearing Tuesday before breaking for lunch. More speakers were planned for the afternoon, with the Senate subcommittee trying to evenly divide the speakers by those for and against the bill, which would ban almost all abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, around six weeks into pregnancy.

Most of the speakers for the bill were pastors, Republican lawmakers or others morally opposed to abortion. Many of the speakers against the bill were doctors or women who shared personal stories of abortions or medical crises that might have fallen into gray areas under the proposal.

The bill easily passed the House in April and Gov. Henry McMaster enthusiastically supports it. But some backers aren't sure it can get the two-thirds support likely needed to overcome procedural hurdles in the Senate when the Legislature returns Jan. 14.

Heartbeat abortion bills have been passed in recent years in Louisiana , Georgia , Kentucky , Mississippi and Ohio . Missouri approved a ban on abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy and Alabama lawmakers simply outlawed all abortions.

Abortion is legal under federal law, which supersedes state law, and lawsuits have been filed against the state measures. The laws' backers are hoping to get a case before the U.S. Supreme Court to challenge the court's 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. The push comes amid rising optimism among conservatives that the restrictions might prevail in the reconfigured Supreme Court that includes President Donald Trump's appointees Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

Subcommittee chairman Sen. Shane Martin said there would be no vote on the bill Tuesday. The Republican from Spartanburg County said he wanted to hold public hearings before all lawmakers returned because the Senate has a busy calendar that includes tackling a wide-ranging overhaul of public education and deciding whether to sell state-owned utility Santee Cooper, which is billions of dollars in debt after partnering on two nuclear plants that were abandoned before they generated a watt of power.

South Carolina is a conservative state with a history of past efforts to restrict abortion. But momentum on the current bill has stalled as the state's long shift from Democratic to Republican domination has finally peaked.

"This comes down to a math question: Do you have the votes to do it?" said Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey.

Democrats in 2018 altered a much less restrictive ban on abortion into a ban on almost all abortions, putting less conservative Republicans on the spot. The bill failed because Republicans could not muster the two-thirds vote needed to end a filibuster and bring the bill to a vote.

Since then, Republicans have lost a Senate seat. They need 27 of their 28 members on board and one GOP senator is philosophically against ever voting to end a filibuster, Massey said.

"I have to have every single Republican left to vote on every part of that bill. If we can be successful, let's go," said Massey, a Republican from Edgefield. "But let's not waste days on something we can't do."

Republican senators plan to meet a few weeks before the 2020 session starts and figure out if they have the votes, Massey said.

Tuesday's hearing was polite and respectful despite the 100 or so people who packed the room. There were no outbursts or demonstrations as people spoke. Martin asked senators to limit their questions so as many people could speak as possible.

"Science and common sense tells us a heartbeat signifies life. If you sit here quietly and listen carefully, you may hear and even feel your God-given heartbeat inside your own chest," said Mitch Prosser, a pastor from Clover.

Several women who opposed the bill said they were angry about having to share their personal stories of abortion with strangers but did so to protect the ability of other women to have the procedure. Gynecologists shared the stories of women who confronted medical emergencies during abortions that could fall into gray areas under the proposal.

"The need for abortion will not go away if this bill is passed. Passing this is likely to increase the risk of unsafe abortions," said Dr. Judith Burgis, an obstetrician and gynecologist in Columbia.

___

Follow Jeffrey Collins on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JSCollinsAP.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Health, AP Business, AP Health - Women's health, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Utilities
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
SC to consider abortion ban; bill faces uncertain future
A small group of state senators are holding a hearing over whether South Carolina should follow the lead of other states and ban nearly all abortions
2:40PM ( 10 minutes ago )
N Carolina special election tests Trump, 2020 GOP prospects
Republicans hope an 11th-hour rally with President Donald Trump will boost them to a special election victory in a GOP-friendly House district in North Carolina, where Dan Bishop faces Dan McCready
2:38PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Trump dismisses John Bolton, says they 'disagreed strongly'
President Donald Trump has fired national security adviser John Bolton. Trump tweeted Tuesday that he told Bolton Monday night that his services were no longer needed at the White House
2:35PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Minnesota lawmakers will hear disputed assisted suicide bill
A woman with terminal cancer will tell her story Wednesday before a Minnesota House committee that's considering a bill to let adults with less than six months to live get medication to end their lives
1:56PM ( 54 minutes ago )
Officials spar with senators over plan for mortgage giants
Trump administration officials are defending their plan to Congress for ending government control of mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, clashing with Democratic senators on whether the change would raise home borrowing costs.
1:51PM ( 1 hour ago )
Share of uninsured Americans rises for 1st time in a decade
Proportion of Americans without health insurance rises for 1st time in decade; poverty rate falls
1:48PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
UK opposition rages at Johnson after he suspends Parliament
Opposition politicians are furious at Prime Minister Boris Johnson's five-week suspension of Parliament ahead of the deadline for Brexit, which drew angry and unprecedented protests in the House of Commons
10:43AM ( 4 hours ago )
Boris Johnson lost Parliament but he could win a UK election
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has lost Parliament but he still could win a UK election
10:11AM ( 4 hours ago )
The Latest: Trump calls NC vote 1st step to removing Pelosi
President Donald Trump is urging North Carolina voters to "take the first steps" toward removing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
8:50AM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Scientists rethink Alzheimer's, diversifying the drug search
Scientists are exploring novel ways to attack Alzheimer's in the wake of a string of disappointing drug failures
11:00AM ( 3 hours ago )
Austrian doctor sues US for seizing patients' abortion drugs
An Austrian doctor who prescribes abortion drugs to patients around the world is suing the United States for allegedly blocking her American patients from getting abortions by seizing their prescriptions
1:10AM ( 13 hours ago )
Moroccan journalist denies charges of illegal abortion
A judge has ruled that a Moroccan journalist remain in custody after she appeared in a packed courtroom on charges that she had an illegal abortion after becoming pregnant while single
3:55PM ( 22 hours ago )
AP Health
US seeks dismissal of tribes' lawsuit over Keystone pipeline
Attorneys for the Trump administration want a US judge to throw out a lawsuit from Native American tribes trying to block the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to Nebraska
1:57PM ( 54 minutes ago )
The Latest: Apple Watch gets always-on display
Apple's next internet-connected watch features an always-on display that lets users check time and other features without raising or tapping it.
1:54PM ( 57 minutes ago )
Big Tech's 'nemesis' in EU gets new term - and more power
The European Union's competition chief is getting a new term - with expanded powers - in a move that underlines how the bloc's battle to regulate big tech companies is only just beginning
1:40PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
AP: Women facing restrictions seek abortions out of state
As some states have been making it harder to get abortions, an Associated Press analysis shows that thousands of women leave their home state to have the procedure
12:09AM ( 2 days ago )
US tells migrant woman 8 months pregnant to wait in Mexico
U.S. border agents took a Salvadoran woman who was eight months pregnant to the hospital when she suffered premature contractions, then forced her to leave the country under the Trump administration's "Remain in Mexico" policy
2:50PM ( 4 days ago )
'This ain't your mother's marijuana,' surgeon general says
Federal health officials are issuing a national warning against marijuana use by adolescents and pregnant women
4:11PM ( 1 week ago )
AP Health - Women's health
The Latest: BMW gives glimpse of future offerings
BMW's marketing chief says giving customers a broad choice among internal combustion, hybrid and battery-powered cars is the right approach to a changing market
8:51AM ( 6 hours ago )
The Latest: Mercedes shows off sleek electric concept car
Daimler's Mercedes-Benz is showing off a long, sleek battery-powered concept vehicle that could join the luxury carmaker's model lineup alongside its S-Class flagship sedans
8:23AM ( 6 hours ago )
The Latest: Ford plans big push into electrics in Europe
Ford Motor Co. says that more than half of its European sales will be electric-powered by 2022 as it unveils a premium model of its Puma crossover that uses recovered braking energy to boost acceleration
6:31AM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
San Francisco offers $2.5B for PG&E's power grid in the city
San Francisco officials are offering to buy Pacific Gas & Electric's power lines and other infrastructure in the city for $2.5 billion
6:03PM ( 20 hours ago )
US stock indexes turn mixed, giving up modest early gains
Major U.S. stock indexes are veering lower in afternoon trading, giving back modest gains from earlier in the day
3:56PM ( 22 hours ago )
US stock indexes turn lower, giving up modest early gains
Major U.S. stock indexes are veering lower in afternoon trading, giving back modest gains from earlier in the day
1:47PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Utilities
New Atwood novel 'The Testaments' revisits dystopian world
Margaret Atwood often gets asked if "The Testaments," her follow-up to "The Handmaid's Tale," is set in a dystopian world
2:46PM ( 5 minutes ago )
N Carolina special election tests Trump, 2020 GOP prospects
Republicans hope an 11th-hour rally with President Donald Trump will boost them to a special election victory in a GOP-friendly House district in North Carolina, where Dan Bishop faces Dan McCready
2:38PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Trump dismisses John Bolton, says they 'disagreed strongly'
President Donald Trump has fired national security adviser John Bolton. Trump tweeted Tuesday that he told Bolton Monday night that his services were no longer needed at the White House
2:35PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Lawyer: John Hinckley interested in music industry job
The man who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan is interested in getting a job in the music industry, possibly in California
2:35PM ( 17 minutes ago )
The Latest: Rocket fire forces Israeli PM to cut short event
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been whisked away from a campaign rally after air raid sirens sounded
2:33PM ( 18 minutes ago )