SC Statehouse approves fetal heartbeat bill

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Access to abortion in South Carolina would be practically denied, if Wednesday night's 82 to 33 House approval of a bill prohibiting the procedure after about six weeks, becomes the law.

The House vote capped nearly 24 hours of grueling debate split across two days. The Republican supermajority turned down or tossed out more than 900 amendments by Democrats who spoke for all three minutes allotted per amendment.

One sought to make the state cover funeral costs for anyone who dies after being denied an abortion. Republican Rep. John McCravy urged colleagues to support “the only path forward to prevent our state from becoming an abortion destination state in the Southeast.”

The state had already seen an increasing number of out-of-state patients before Florida and North Carolina enacted new restrictions Attention now turns back to the Senate.

Lawmakers could accept the House changes and send the measure to the governor who says he'll sign it, or to a conference committee where members from each chamber would have to work out their differences. Until then, abortion remains legal through 22 weeks in South Carolina.

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