(Photo: Mandel Ngan, AFP/Getty Images)

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A bill that would have outlawed most abortions in South Carolina was killed early Friday after Democratic state senators, who hold only two-fifths of the seats, waged a lengthy filibuster.

The 24-21 vote at about 1 a.m. ET, where five Republicans joined the minority party, sent a bill back to committee that had been amended Wednesday night to outlaw all abortion in the state except in instances that would save a mother’s life or in cases of incest or rape.

“The abortion ban in South Carolina is no longer,” Sen. Marlon Kimpson, a Democrat from Charleston, wrote on Twitter. “Women will continue to have the right to choose and make their own personal decisions about their bodies in consultation with their families and doctors.”

He and other Democrats had swapped places at the Senate podium to keep talking and block consideration of the bill. Republicans tried repeatedly to give the bill a final approval, but in the end came up one vote short of ending the Democrats’ speeches.

The Democrats had talked about food, coffee, swimming, lack of money for what they believe are the state’s most pressing issues and why the legislation was a  “bad bill” that even South Carolina House leaders opposed.

“Why are we wasting our time?” Kimpson asked in the middle of his hours at the podium Thursday.

Sen. Marlon Kimpson@KimpsonForSC

The abortion ban in SC is no longer. After hours of filibuster, the bill has now been recommitted to committee. Women will continue to have the right to choose and make their own personal decisions about their bodies in consultation with their faimilies and doctors.

The bill initially banned only a procedure called dismemberment abortion, which was performed 22 times out of 5,736 abortions in 2016 in South Carolina.

But a Democrat who has spent years fighting restrictions against abortions took a risk. State Sen. Brad Hutto of Orangeburg suggested changing the bill to ban all abortions with few exceptions; Republicans agreed on a 24-1 vote with most Democrats sitting out.

The change galvanized the debate, and Democrats started a filibuster.

The bill would have violated the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 landmark ruling Roe v. Wade and invited a lawsuit the state would lose, opponents argued. Democrats also pointed out the broad proposal could be read as banning many forms of birth control including intrauterine devices and birth control pills.

“We were right there on pins and needles until the very end,” said Sen. Gerald Malloy, a Democrat from Hartsville.

The bill initially passed the state Senate 28-10 Wednesday and needed only a final vote to return to the House. If the bill had made it to Gov. Henry McMaster’s desk, he previously has vowed to sign any bill reducing abortions in the state.

“It is over!” tweeted Vicki Ringer, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood Votes! South Atlantic who called the bill extreme earlier Thursday. “With just three days left in the session, it should be dead for the year.”

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/05/04/south-carolina-abortion-ban-bill-killed/582611002/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s