South Carolina Senate votes to effectively outlaw nearly all abortions

South Carolina Senate votes to effectively outlaw nearly all abortions

South Carolina's state Senate voted Wednesday to ban virtually all abortions, The State reported.

The measure, approved 28-10, blocks abortions except in cases of rape, incest or medical emergencies that could seriously harm the pregnant woman.

This would reportedly ban approximately 97 percent of the roughly 5,700 abortions performed in South Carolina each year.

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If signed into law, it would almost certainly face a court challenge — exactly what Senate Republicans are hoping for.

"It's designed to give the court an opportunity to revisit Roe v. Wade," Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey (R) said, referencing the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion nationwide.

State Sen. Brad Hutto (D) said the bill is “clearly unconstitutional," but said the state Senate should hold a vote on the measure so it didn't clog up the legislative calendar.

“It’s an attempt to get it to the courts so we don’t have to keep debating it over and over and over,” Hutto said. 

Hutto said he's confident the courts will eventually strike down the abortion ban.

The bill now heads back to the GOP-controlled House for approval. Republican Gov. Henry McMaster and Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant (R) have both endorsed anti-abortion bills.