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The South Carolina House has passed a bill completely banning abortions in the state.


Though originally rejected by the chamber, House Republicans brought the bill back for a second reading where it hastily passed in a voice vote 67-38 on Tuesday. CNN reports that while the bill includes exceptions for rape and incest, there is still a 12-week time limit on the procedure.

The bill requires that healthcare providers report abortion cases to law enforcement. Patients who violate the law could be subject to two years in prison or fines of $10,000. In cases where the patient is underage, the parent or guardian is found legally responsible. Providers also risk jail time and losing their license for any violations.

The bill also includes exceptions in cases of rape and incest, as well as medical exceptions for molar pregnancies, ectopic pregnancies and severe preeclampsia, as well as any case that could cause "the substantial physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman." If passed, the law will also require that child support be paid by the father starting from conception.

House Republicans initially declined to pass the bill without any exceptions for assault. Their further right-leaning constituents blocked amendments to add exceptions for rape or the health of the mother. House Democrats voted with the conservative Republicans in an apparent move to record votes for the total ban, killing the amendments.

While the bill with amendments eventually passed, the House must hold a third vote before they can send it to the state Senate. Even if approved by the Senate, the bill would have to make it past the South Carolina Supreme Court, which is currently blocking a previous six-week abortion ban from taking effect.

The "heartbeat bill" banned any abortions once a fetal heartbeat could be detected, which usually develops at six weeks into the pregnancy, before most people are aware they are pregnant. The bill also included medical exceptions, as well as those for rape and incest.

It remains to be seen if this newest abortion bill will pass, and if the procedure will be available in South Carolina moving forward.

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