The South Carolina state House of Representatives voted Wednesday to pass a bill banning almost all abortions, The Associated Press reported.
A final procedural vote is set to occur Thursday. The House voted 79-35 in favor of the “South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act,” which will soon be sent to Republican Gov. Henry McMaster for signature, according to the report.
— The Hill (@thehill) February 17, 2021
The bill seeks to ban abortions after six to eight weeks of pregnancy. The only exemption to an abortion would be pregnancy as a result of rape or incest, according to The Charleston Post Courrier. (REPORT: Fetal Heartbeat Abortion Ban Passes Tennessee House)
At one point during the proceedings, the Democratic caucus walked out in protest, Fox5 reported.
SC House beginning debate now on abortion ban.
Minority Leader @RepRutherford up first recounts how he listened y’day to people clamoring for COVID vaccine in hearing, but now chamber spending time on this.
“The Democratic caucus is here to proclaim that we’re tired of it.” pic.twitter.com/SwgjBbuXnJ
— Jamie Lovegrove (@jslovegrove) February 17, 2021
“Today is a sad day. It’s a very sad day, and all I can do is continue to pray for the state of South Carolina, pray for our women and pray for our families,” Democrat State Rep. Justin Bamberg said in a news conference.
Republican Rep. Melissa Oremus of Aiken spoke highly of the bill and argued there is no reason to have an abortion. “They don’t deserve to die just because their mother made a bad choice one night,” she said.
The bill has failed to pass the South Carolina Senate in recent years, but Republicans now have the majority, and McMaster has expressed support for the bill, Fox5 reported.