A panel of S.C. lawmakers will try to iron out differences in a pair of bills that would ban abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy and later.
The House and Senate passed two different versions of the abortion ban proposal this year. The House bill allows exceptions only if the mother’s life is threatened or her health could be severely impacted.
The Senate bill also included exceptions for rape, incest and severe fetal anomalies that would prevent the child from living after birth.
House Judiciary Committee chairman Greg Delleney, R-Chester, said abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy – when, he says, a child might feel pain and might be able to survive a premature birth – is equal to “infanticide” and “partial-birth abortion.”
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House Republicans who support the legislation likely would be open to allowing an exception for a severe fetal anomalies, if lawmakers can agree on how to define that medical condition, Delleney said.
State Sens. Ray Cleary, R-Georgetown, and Brad Hutto, D-Orangeburg, said the Senate might be open to narrowing the exceptions to exclude rape and incest as a compromise with the House.
The panel took no votes and will meet again.
Any compromise on the bill needs House and Senate approval by Thursday to become law.
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