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US Rep. Nancy Mace lists abortion exceptions during national TV appearance Sunday

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U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace. File/Gavin McIntyre/Staff

U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace took her position on abortion — that there should exceptions written into federal law for cases of rape, incest and life of the mother — nationally in a Sunday show appearance on CBS' "Face the Nation."

Mace, who on the segment spoke of her rape at age 16, said most Republicans don't believe there should be hard-line government bans on the procedure if Roe vs. Wade is ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, as is anticipated this summer.

"The vast majority of Republicans support those exceptions," Mace, R-Charleston, told host Margaret Brennan on May 8, while stressing that victims of crimes and patients facing significant health concerns should be allowed freedom of options.

"It's important for some of us to step forward and tell those stories that are often missed in all of this as well," she added, saying  the emotional, physical and mental trauma of rape means the decision should be between a woman, God and her doctor.

The exceptions clause puts Mace and former state Rep. Katie Arrington of Summerville, her leading rival in the June 14 Republican primary, at diverse ends of the issue.

Arrington tweeted last week after Justice Samuel Alito's draft opinion was leaked hinting that 50 years of Roe v. Wade would be overturned, she has "made it clear that I am the only candidate that is 100% Pro-Life, with no exceptions."

"Abortion is murder," Arrington's twitter messaging also says. "Anyone in favor of exceptions, Nancy Mace included, are complicit in the systematic killing of millions of unborn babies."

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CBS released polling May 9 that said the nearly two-thirds of Americans who want Roe v. Wade to stay as is said "they feel angry and discouraged about the prospect that it may be overturned, describing that as a 'danger to women' and as a threat to rights more generally."

Young women particularly think changing the constitutional protection will lead to restrictions on birth control and family planning choices, the survey said.

"For the one-third who do want Roe overturned, they'd describe it as 'a protection for the unborn' and call it a victory for the anti-abortion rights movement," CBS said of its results. "Most of them would like to see a national ban on abortions now."

The CBS News/YouGov poll used a national sample of 2,088 adult interviewed May 4-6. The margin of error is ± 2.7 points.

On the show, Mace pointed out that if Roe v. Wade is struck down, the legality of abortion would then return to the states and to Congress. She compared congressional legislative action on those exceptions to how late-term abortions were struck down several years ago.

The third Republican in the June 14 primary field is Lynz Piper-Loomis, a North Charleston Air Force spouse. The lone Democrat in the race is Lowcountry pediatrician Annie Andrews.

Reach Schuyler Kropf at 843-937-5551. Follow him on Twitter at @skropf47.