Understand SC abortion bill episode


It's hard to say.

Bills dealing with abortion are nothing new to the S.C. Statehouse – in fact lawmakers pre-file bills that have to do with abortions most sessions, but some gain more traction than others. One recent successful abortion restriction bill passed in 2016 under Gov. Nikki Haley, which outlawed abortions after 20 weeks with no exceptions for rape or incest.

In 2019 so far, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi and Ohio have passed bills prohibiting abortions once a heartbeat is detectable, which occurs somewhere between 5 to 8 weeks in most pregnancies. The S.C. House passed a similar bill – commonly known as a "heartbeat bill" – in April just before the first year of the legislative session ended in May. South Carolina is midway through a two-year session, meaning the Senate could consider it next year.

In this week's episode, we talk with health journalists Lauren Sausser and Mary Katherine Wildeman to discuss the history of abortion restrictions in S.C. and what we know (and don't know) about the future of S.C.'s heartbeat bill. 

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