Palmetto Sunrise: Lee Bright calls for ouster of colleagues

Cynthia Roldan/Staff Rebecca Kiessling speaks to reporters on Tuesday at the South Carolina Statehouse. A proponent of an abortion ban without exemptions, Kiessling was conceived through rape.

COLUMBIA — One of South Carolina’s biggest abortion foes called on the public to vote out his colleagues, if they advanced a 20-week abortion ban with exceptions for cases of rape, incest or severe fetal abnormalities.

Which they did.

The Senate advanced a bill that tightens restrictions on abortions — prohibiting the procedure after 20 weeks of pregnancy. It still needs a third, usually procedural vote before it heads back to the House.

But Bright had held a press conference earlier in the day, where he presented two women who were conceived by rape, and another who gave birth to a son, after she was raped as a 13-year-old.

“It’s time to stand firm,” Bright said. “And we have an election next June. And if these babies aren’t allowed to survive, these politicians shouldn’t survive their re-elections.”

He insisted that abortion has not been an “every year fight,” and called on giving the issue the debate time that it demands. He also called out reporters for letting “these senators get away from talking from that senate floor” so that they can adjourn by “five because they got a function to go to.”

“That’s not what the Senate is all about,” Bright argued. “We asked to be members of the deliberative body. If we have to work 100 hours, we need to work 100 hours. It’s offensive and these guys ought to be held accountable.”

Senators ultimately stopped the debate on abortion, and proceeded to vote on it. But they didn’t do it because they had a 6 p.m., function. They did so in an effort to get to other major bills that are pending, including the advancement of the state’s capital reserve (rainy-day fund) bill, the roads-funding bill, and potentially bonds bill. And there’s just three weeks left in the legislative session.

In other news:

Domestic violence task force reports ‘inconsistency’ across state (The Post and Courier)

S.C. ranks second in rural road fatality rate (The Greenville News)

Moody’s: Volvo plant shifts South Carolina auto industry into higher gear (The Post and Courier)

Davis: SC doesn’t need a gas-tax hike to fix its roads and bridges (The Island Packet)

Senate honors Elloree 21 who quit after anti-NAACP law (The Associated Press)

Lawmakers worry not enough people volunteer to be firefighters (Bluffton Today)

Judge orders gradual records release of Clinton’s emails (The Associated Press)

Uh, you probably don’t want to tweet to @POTUS, actually (The Washington Post)