COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) – A bill that would ban most abortions about six weeks into a pregnancy in South Carolina is one step closer to becoming law.
Senators voted 27 to 19 to agree with the House’s version of S.474. This comes a few days after the House passed the bill. The legislation, after ratification, is headed to the governor’s desk.
Senator Shane Massey (R-Edgefield) said the legislation is necessary because South Carolina had the least restrictive abortion laws in the South.
“We are certainly looking at 12,000 abortions this year,” said Massey. “That is more than double just a few years ago. It’s being driven by non-residents coming to South Carolina.”
Lawmakers were called back to the State House by Governor Henry McMaster for a special session to wrap up work on this bill and other legislation before adjourning for the year. Cloture was invoked Tuesday afternoon to prevent a filibuster.
An amendment by Senator Katrina Shealy (R-Lexington) to change the legislation to a 12-week ban with exceptions failed with a 21-25 vote. 5 Republicans joined 16 Democrats in supporting the bill.
Senator Shealy said she did not support the changes the House made to the bill.
“I think it’s a bad piece of legislation,” said Shealy. “I didn’t think it was the best thing when we sent it over but I did vote for it when we sent it over.”
Once the bill is signed into law, legal challenges are expected.
This is a developing story.