Budget proposal would end state abortion coverage

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Abortions wouldn't be covered for any reason by South Carolina's health insurance plan under a budget measure legislators have given an initial OK.

The measure adopted as the House began debating a $5.3 billion budget on Monday means the state plan wouldn't cover abortions in cases of rape or incest or when a doctor said they were necessary to protect a woman's health.

State Rep. Rex Rice said he didn't think the state was paying much for those limited instances of abortion but that his measure was necessary because the state shouldn't be covering the cost of any abortion.

The panel also adopted measures allowing teacher and state worker furloughs as legislators try to close a gap of more than $500 million in the state budget.

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