South Carolina Senate fails to pass near-total abortion ban after Republican lawmakers filibuster


South Carolina’s Republican-led Senate unable to pass legislation After a handful of Republican senators teamed with Democrats to block the bill, instead of trying to ban nearly all abortions at all stages of pregnancy without exceptions for rape and incest, states already restricted chose to modify the abortion law.

The failure of the near-total abortion ban stems from disagreements among South Carolina Republicans, and Republicans in general, over whether exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest should be included in abortion restrictions. embossed the gap between them.

South Carolina House Bill 5399, which passed the state House last month, had enough support from Senate Republicans to ban nearly all abortions in the state, but was removed from the proceedings by Republican Senator Tom Davis on Thursday. There was a blockage and I stopped it halfway through. Republicans did not have the votes to overcome the filibuster and proceed to vote on the bill. This requires a higher number of votes.

“Unless this agency votes and sits me down, I’m not going to put this (the bill) on the ballot,” Davis said Thursday night on the Senate floor.

Unable to pass a restrictive bill, Republicans instead took up an amendment that went against the bill’s language and inserted language that would change the state’s existing six-week abortion ban.the ban is Blocked by South Carolina Supreme Court It went into effect shortly after the Roe v. Wade decision was overturned and then ceased to be enforceable. Her 2016 law in the state banning abortions after her 20 weeks of conception is now in effect as state courts continue to review that law.

In introducing the amendment, Republican Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey acknowledged that “there is currently no vote in the Senate to ban abortion six weeks in advance.”

“I hate having to admit it,” he said, adding, “It takes a vote to pass, but unfortunately it doesn’t.”

“This is not where I wanted it to be. I wanted to do something pretty aggressive in response to Dobbs,” Massey said when presenting his proposed fix. , we will make progress. This amendment is definitely progress.”

He argued that the proposed amendment would “strengthen” South Carolina Statute S.1 against legal challenges and fix what the state Supreme Court had identified as ambiguity in the law. He argued that South Carolina would become “abortion on demand” if the law was not amended.

S. 1 prohibits abortion upon detection of a “fetal heartbeat” at 4 weeks’ gestation, and more commonly at 6 weeks’ gestation.

Massey’s amendment maintains the exception to the prohibition on pregnancies resulting from rape or incest, but shortens the time frame. The law now allows an exception to the prohibition of rape or incest if the “estimated post-fertilization age of the fetus” is less than 20 weeks. Exceptions will be allowed up to 14 weeks.

Several senators on the floor Thursday objected to two subsections of the amendment. It states that fatal fetal abnormalities require him to be diagnosed by two separate doctors before an abortion can be performed, and that the doctor performing the abortion “must save a DNA sample.” increase. Make sure you have a surviving fetus and notify the county sheriff where the abortion took place. The sheriff must collect the samples and hold them as evidence for 90 days so that the rapist can be prosecuted.

Massey’s amendment was adopted by vote.

The bill will be sent back to the South Carolina House of Representatives to decide whether to accept the changes.

House Bill 5399 did not include exceptions for rape or incest or fatal fetal defects when it was first introduced in the Senate on Wednesday. Davis succeeded in bringing the fatal fetal defect exemption back into the bill, he introduced several amendments over the two days to add exceptions.

“Yesterday we made some progress to improve our bad bills, but we are nowhere near the level where we can support it,” Davis said Thursday.

“And I am quite aware that I am breaking with my fellow Republicans,” he added.

Republican lawmakers were heavily divided on whether to include these exceptions in the bill, with all three Republican women in the Senate vehemently opposing the bill Wednesday morning.

South Carolina Senator Katrina Fry Seely listens as she debates a new abortion ban in the state legislature in Columbia, South Carolina, USA, Sept. 8, 2022.

“If you want to believe that God wants you to pass without exception a bill that kills mothers and ruins children’s lives, let mothers take their babies home and bury them. Then you God.” I think you’re misunderstanding, Republican Sen. Katrina Seeley said Wednesday in a fiery speech on the Senate floor to her male colleagues.

“I know we disagree on many issues, but I’m really sick and tired of hearing you talk about your menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and how to know when your eggs are fertilized and when you give birth. I have to say I do.”

Shealy added: I am also in favor of a life where the mother is with the children who are already born. I care about children who are forced to become adults by a congress full of men. You want children who are most likely to suffer domestic violence and live in poverty. But you’ve done your job so you don’t care. I forgot when I was born. ”

Fellow Republican Senator Sandy Sen also called for the issue to be put on the ballot, predicting that women would vote in droves to vote on abortion in the November election.

Republican Sen. Penry Gustafson called on lawmakers to “face reality. We are not living in the Dark Ages.”

“This is simply not a moral decision. Yes,” she said on the Senate floor in arguing for an exception for fatal fetal anomalies.

Lawmakers on Thursday also rejected amendments to H. 5399, so the text proposes a ballot measure to amend the Constitution to allow for “rights to bodily integrity and autonomy, including limited abortion rights.” Replaced by Joint Resolution.

Conservative Republican Rep. Josiah Magnuson, who backed the bill, told CNN, “Most of these Republicans had strong pro-life platforms that prevented the Senate from passing the anti-abortion bill. said it was “embarrassing”.

“We must pass legislation that truly protects all innocent lives,” he argued. “I don’t think this is the best we can get,” he said. If so, the bill will be sent to the conference committee.

After the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, a Select Committee of the South Carolina House of Representatives met in July to finalize a “working draft” of H. 5399.

The original bill they drafted aimed to ban abortion at all stages of pregnancy, with no exceptions for rape or incest. This was a major point of contention among Republicans in the House, as it was in the Senate.

The House rushed last week added as an exception For rape and incest up to 12 weeks after conception, rape or incest allegations must be reported to law enforcement before voting to advance legislation.

The Senate Medical Committee on Tuesday removed the exception for rape and incest up to 12 weeks after conception and advanced it to the full Senate.

Senate-amended bills must be re-approved by the House before being sent to the governor’s desk.


Scroll to Top