SC politics: 20-week abortion ban advances

April 30, 2014 

20-week abortion ban advances, with exceptions

Legislation banning and criminalizing abortions after 19 weeks in South Carolina has advanced in the state Senate.

A panel voted 4-1 Wednesday to advance the bill after amending it to exclude cases of rape, incest, fetal anomaly and where the life of the mother is in danger. Legislators also inserted language to protect the use of contraceptives and the morning-after pill.

Supporters say the ban is needed because, they say, a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks of development.

Opponents say the bill is unconstitutional.

The bill, which passed the House 81-22 last month, next goes to the full Senate Medical Affairs Committee.

Website editor endorses Bowers in Senate race

U.S. Senate hopeful Det Bowers Wednesday picked up an endorsement Wednesday from Erick Erickson, Fox News contributor and editor-in-chief of RedState, a website with a history of supporting anti-establishment Tea Party and GOP candidates.

Bowers, a Columbia pastor and retired attorney, is one of six Republicans vying to replace U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham in June’s GOP primary.

Erickson wrote in a blog post Wednesday morning: “I like Lindsey Graham. Always have for that matter. He’s always been very pleasant to me. We’ve shared a few common fights. And I respect that he is not as willing as some of his colleagues to shift his positions on all things merely for the sake of re-election.

“But I disagree with Lindsey Graham on immigration. I disagree with him on our nation’s role as the world’s policeman. I disagree with him on the NSA situation. I disagree with his votes for (Supreme Court associate justices Elena) Kagan and (Sonya) Sotomayor. On the largest issues of the day within the Republican Party ... think South Carolina could and should find someone to replace him in the Senate.”

Bowers is the “only viable alternative to Graham,” Erickson said, having raised more than $400,000 since entering the race in February. Graham of Seneca has about $7 million on hand to spend to win a third term.

Atwater campaign announces leadership team

Sally Atwater’s campaign for the GOP nomination for state superintendent of education has announced its S.C. leadership team, including a former governor, former first lady and two former S.C. GOP chairmen.

The statewide campaign co-chairs are: Former Gov. James B. Edwards, former First Lady Iris Campbell, former U.S. Rep. John Napier, businessman Joe Edens, former S.C. GOP chairmen Barry Wynn and Van D. Hipp Jr. and Greenville Mayor Knox White.

“Having worked for over 11 years as a special-needs teacher in South Carolina public schools, Sally understands first hand the power of a good education,” Edwards said in a press release.

Atwater is one of eight Republicans seeking the GOP nomination for state superintendent. The winner of the GOP’s June primary will face Democratic opposition in the fall.

The Associated Press, Jamie Self and Cassie Cope

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