A fight against tightening South Carolina's abortion laws is in the process of raging on the state senate's floor, which causes a democratic philibus to kill a number of other remarkable bills.
After months of waiting, the Republican majority Senate voted by Thursday to start debating a proposal to ban abortions of "failure". In the rare procedures, usually reserved for pregnancy with defective fetuses or serious medical complications, the doctor uses tongs to pull the unborn fetus before it is removed in pieces.
Senate Democrats immediately threatened to file the bill in the next six legislative days until the General Assembly interrupts May 1
Unless Republicans can gather the three-fifths needed to end the filibuster, the voting strategy will likely hold several other important bills from passing this year, including a handful of addressing South Carolina's nuclear fiasco.
"If this is the case then we want to end this session, so we'll end this session," said late Brad Hutto, D-Orrangeburg, warned from the senate floor on Thursday. "I tell you there are many other important things that face this condition."
The abortion root, which begins Tuesday, follows several other failed efforts this year to limit abortions in South Carolina.
▪ In February, a Senate Committee filed a dirty "Personhood Act", a bill that would extend the legal rights to a fertilized egg during conception and effectively exceed all abortions in South Carolina. Earlier this month, Senate Republicans tried to fail to abolish public money from abortion providers, including planned parenting, from planned parenting, from state budget, by rejecting federal money paying for testing for sexually transmitted diseases, birth control and other "family planning" services at these clinics.
▪ The full senate also voted for another GOP proposal to block the state's health plan from covering abortion for victims of rape or incest.
This time, the debate will be centered on a medical procedure called dilation and evacuation – used in 22 of the 5,736 abortions conducted in South Carolina in 2016. The procedure is used for pregnancies after the first trimester, usually for mothers who want children, but then learn their pregnancies are complicated by a serious disease state.
Senate Transport Committee Chairman Larry Grooms, the Berkeley Republican who led the debate on the dismemberment ban, said ripping unborn children is dehumanizing and should
"We treat animals in slaughterhouses better than we treat unborn children," said Grooms.
Democrats, women's rights and doctors associations have opposed this expansion and evacuation, a 30-minute procedure, is the safest way to interrupt a fetus in medical emergency situations. The second option they say is inducing work – a painful, sometimes long-term method that exposes the pregnant woman to significant health risks.
"In my opinion, it's just awesome," said Amy Crockett, vice president of SC chapter of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, about the proposed ban. "If you have a pregnancy complicated by anomalous fetal anomaly, I do not think it is quite fair to ask women to take the risk of their own health in order to continue pregnancy, especially when they have other children at home and other families members like trusting them. "
Women's Rights and Empowerment Network's SC chapter says it opposes the ban because it denies doctors the opportunity to" provide the best care for women's care ", according to Ashley Crary Lidow, Deputy Chief of Politics and Government Relations . "It's very disappointing that this is what the legislature spends time on when there are so many other issues it needs to deal with."
State Secretary Margie Bright Matthews, D-Colleton, told Senate Thursday that most of the members did not understand the bill, which she said would criminalize the safest method of abortion for fetal who would probably not survive after birth. "A lot of this is that the child is not a viable fetus in the first place," she said.
Pro-life senators and groups are not sold.
While some oppose all abortions, they say that problematic pregnancies are not an excuse for dispelling an unborn child.
"So Democrats believe in taking disabled children and tearing their arms and legs off? Disemboweling them? Treat them as junk? That's what democrats believe in?" Said Holly Gatling, president of S.C. Citizens for Life, which has banned "dismemberment" its highest legislative priority for the year. "I do not buy their argument at all. I do not think this is the way you treat any baby."
The bill passed the house 83-17 but will not have the same overwhelming support in the Senate.
Grooms told the state that he thought he had enough votes to end a Democratic Philibus after the two days required. But he is afraid he can lose votes if the bill changes. Some Republicans Can Try to Introduce Personality Law's Language to Do It's a more expansive abortion ban, which threatens the passage of the bill, Grooms said.
"I'm too personality, but I'm also because this bill should go," said Grooms. "I'm not going home with nothing".
Of the eight states that have adopted similar laws, six are bound in trial. But pro-life groups say that the US Supreme Court will ultimately end up with abortion opponents on the "dismemberment" issue.
Reach Wilks at 803-771-8362. Follow him on Twitter @AveryGWilks.