COLUMBIA, S.C. (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.
The committee voted 9-3 to recommend an abortion bill draft that would ban almost all abortions in South Carolina, unless the mother’s life is at risk. There are no exceptions for rape or incest.
Ad-Hoc Committee Chairman John McCravy (R-Greenwood) said, “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.”
Rep. McCravy said the proposed ban would not interfere with access to contraceptives and would not impact IVF assisted pregnancies.
Three of the four Democrats on the panel voted against the recommendation. Rep. Chandra Dillard (D-Greenville) said state lawmakers need more time to understand the ramifications of a full ban.
Rep. Dillard said, “Roe v Wade was the law of the land for 50 years. 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 (R-Pickens) said this is a ‘huge opportunity’ for South Carolina. “We’re talking about life. The most precious thing somebody can have. We have the opportunity to provide that for a lot of unborn children,” he said.
Under the recommendation approved by the committee, McCravy said mothers would be immune from criminal prosecution.
The recommendation is now on it’s way to the full House Judiciary Committee.
South Carolina six-week ban is currently in effect. It includes exceptions for rape or incest.