SC heartbeat abortion ban passes 1st vote

South Carolina Statehouse
South Carolina Statehouse
Updated: Apr. 2, 2019 at 2:20 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (AP) - A South Carolina House subcommittee passed a bill that would ban almost all abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected after hearing over an hour of testimony from both supporters and detractors of the legislation.

Author of the bill Rep. John McCravy said he was encouraged by the vote.

The Greenwood Republican said he look forward to the bill's next step: a hearing Tuesday afternoon in the full House Judiciary Committee.

Opponents of the legislation say the proposal would eliminate a woman’s ability to make her own choice about her pregnancy because a fetal heartbeat is usually detected by the sixth week of pregnancy.

The legislation would provide exceptions if a woman's life is at risk.

They also say the bill would face an instant legal challenge if it passes as it has in other states like Mississippi and Kentucky.

South Carolina has been in the forefront of more restrictive abortion laws over the past 35 years.

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