S.C. House votes to ban abortion after 20 weeks

South Carolina Statehouse

COLUMBIA — The S.C. House on Wednesday approved banning and criminalizing abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, advancing it to the Senate.

Supporters of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act contend a ban is needed because a fetus can feel pain after 20 weeks. The same bill was passed by the House during the 2014 legislative session but died in the Senate.

Abortion is currently legal in South Carolina in the first two trimesters, or 24 weeks, of pregnancy. In the last trimester, it is only permitted to save the life or health of the mother.

Rep. Wendy Nanney, R-Greenville, the sponsor of the bill, said she was “very excited” it passed.

“I feel like those who were against the bill were attacking me personally instead of the bill, because the bill stands very well on its own and there’s not much to debate on the bill itself,” she said.

House Minority Leader Rep. Todd Rutherford, D-Columbia, was among those who challenged the bill during floor debate.

“It upsets me every time that we talk about the high rate of CDVs in this state, and we wonder where people get it from, they need to only look at the General Assembly and see our disrespect for women and women’s rights,” he later added. “That’s a sickness that we have in this state that we feel like we can beat up women and tell them what to do.”

Reach Cynthia Roldan at 708-5891.