South Carolina House Passes Bill to Ban Abortions After 20 Weeks

The South Carolina state House has passed a bill, on an 84-29 vote, that would ban abortions after 20 weeks based on scientific evidence showing unborn children feel pain. Currently the state allows abortions up to 24 weeks of pregnancy unless the life of the mother is at risk.

The vote included 70 Republicans and 14 Democrats.  All 29 votes against the bill were Democrats.

South Carolina Citizens for Life sent a final letter Tuesday night to all the members of the S.C. House urging them to vote for the fetal pain law that protects unborn children from abortion when they can feel pain. That is documented to be by the 20th week after fertilization, if not sooner. The group describe the bill as “our organization’s top legislative priority for 2014.”

Representative Wendy Nanney, R-Greenville, introduced the bill and explained that it prohibits the abortion of unborn children who have developed the ability to feel pain. Modern scientific research shows the unborn child can feel pain by 20 weeks after fertilization, if not before.  She noted that similar language has passed in 11 other states.

Representative Robert Ridgeway III, one of the 14 Democrats who supported the bill and who is an OBGYN from Clarendon, offered to answer questions about fetal development and noted that “it is important to stand for those who are most vulnerable.”