Palmetto Sunrise: House, Senate end week on divisive note

The House and Senate have few legislative days left. File/AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain

The House and Senate ping-ponged between divisive topics Thursday as both will turn down the home stretch next week.

The Senate nearly broke through on a 20-week abortion ban bill — before Sen. Lee Bright blocked his own bill.

The bill is called a “fetal pain” bill because supporters say a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks, although that is disputed in the medical community.

Bright blocked the bill because he did not want to see an amendment for exemptions to the ban go through — for rape, incest and severe fetal anomalies.

Sen. Larry Grooms, R-Charleston, had pleaded with his colleagues to accept the compromise.

“I’m not for exceptions,” he said. “I understand the political realities. This is a matter of life or death. There are some unborn children out there right now and I want to make sure they live. I’m not comfortable with the exceptions, but if we can’t save them all then let’s save what we can.”

Bright said he would not compromise.

The House also stalled a bill that attempts to stop Islamic or sharia law from being used in state courts. Democrats called the effort a waste of time. “Bring some people in here who care about real issues, like whether or not somebody is going to put food on the table,” said Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter.

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