The Senate put turned back a bid Tuesday to bring anti-abortion legislation to debate on the Senate floor - an effort by an Upstate Republican to bypass stalled hearings at both the subcommittee and full committee levels.
The action, led by Sen. Lee Bright, R-Spartanburg, stalled Senate business, delaying final passage of a cigarette tax increase to 50 cents a pack.
Bright, who has emerged as the Senate's most vocal opponent of abortion rights, tried to force a vote on bypassing the committee hearings.
Bright said he took the step because his bill, H.3342, which seeks to establish fetal personhood, was introduced in February 2009 but had not yet come up for debate.
"Never debating the cause - I don't see how that helps," Bright said.