South Carolina Republicans voted to raise the abortion ban after six weeks of pregnancy, after anti-abortion halls urged celebration leaders not to help laws that make exceptions for rape or incest.
After the House passed an abortion ban earlier this year with last-minute exceptions for rape or incest, it is sure to vote against its friends in the South Carolina Senate, even though Senate invoices accurately reflect the wording of the law The family had submitted an unrecorded vote in advance.
Home Office Speaker Murrel Smith shortly after Tuesday’s vote sent a letter Some anti-abortion groups in the state oppose the legislation, citing exceptions including rape and incest, as well as a Senate-backed provision covering fetal abnormalities, simply to overturn the current six-week ban on abortion. Abortion, which also includes exceptions for rape and incest.
The hardline Family Freedom Caucus echoed the remarks, saying in a press release that they were “in a marketing campaign against life, and we voted for this approach,” before asking the Senate to nominate a conference committee to address two families disagreements between them and reach a solution that each of them may agree on.
But the Senate has made it clear it won’t happen. Ahead of the vote, Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey told reporters that his chamber may lack votes to help enact laws, including rape or incest. Shortly thereafter, Republican Senate Chairman Thomas Alexander issued a press release clarifying that any abortion ban, without exception, would likely be useless once it reached the upper chamber.
“I’m very disappointed with the vote now in the House,” he said in a news release. “As members of the House know, earlier Senate votes have shown that the House model simply isn’t helping enough to drive action.”
Alexander said Tuesday’s vote would also undoubtedly jeopardize any efforts to restrict abortion statewide this year, as the South Carolina Supreme Court weighs the legality of the same six-week ban imposed during the 2021 session. Currently, South Carolina allows abortions up to 20 weeks of gestation as deliberations on the legislation are ongoing.
Still, it underscores the Conservatives’ reluctance to unreservedly help an abortion ban heading into a midterm election season dominated by abortion challenges. Most national polls show Republicans and independents supporting the exceptions, making it difficult for conservative lawmakers to appease their strongest anti-abortion opponents and alienate large numbers of citizens.
“I helped create stronger anti-abortion legislation,” Alexander added. “However, after we found it impossible to move, our main focus became to protect as many unborn lives as possible by strengthening the currently legally compromised Fetal Heartbeat Act. The current House motion seriously jeopardizes these efforts.”
Anti-abortion foyer repeals South Carolina’s 6-week abortion ban