CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – An abortion ban in South Carolina is one step closer to becoming a law. However, one Lowcountry lawmaker is crossing party lines to fight this bill.
On Wednesday the South Carolina Senate gave initial approval to a bill preventing abortions on fetuses when a heartbeat can be detected; which can be as early as 6 weeks.
Lawmakers added new exceptions to the proposal that would require victims of rape or incest to alert their local sheriff before they could be granted an abortion.
Charleston’s State Senator Sandy Senn is not on board quite yet. “There’s got to be a reason behind adding this. I just don’t understand,” she said on the Senate floor Wednesday morning.
Out of the 29-17 vote, Senn was the sole Republican to vote against the fetal heart bill.
Republican State Senator Richard Cash from Anderson, SC is one of the 29 in favor of the bill. He says that every death, including abortions, is a tragedy.
“In our state we have had over 400,000 abortions in the past 48 years,” he says. “That’s the approximate equivalent of every person in the county of Charleston wiped out by abortion.”
Others also in favor of the bill say the goal with these exceptions is to make sure the criminals who committed those violent acts will be prosecuted. Senn says she couldn’t disagree more.
“This body feels that women — especially women of age — are not smart enough to make their own decisions as to whether or not they want to go to law enforcement to prosecute,” says Senator Senn.
Governor McMaster has been vocal about his support of this bill and has recently promised that he will sign it into law if it reaches his desk.
On the other hand, Democrat State Senator Marlon Kimpson took the floor on Wednesday to share his frustrations with the state’s priorities.
“Hours, upon hours, upon hours, upon hours…that we’re going to spend debating the merits of an unconstitutional bill when we have people dying in the state of South Carolina,” says Kimpson.
The Senate’s third and final reading of the bill will take place on Thursday.