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SC lawmakers return to abortion debate

Mar 18, 2010 6:01:00 AM - thestate.com
South Carolina legislators worked through the night and into Thursday morning debating whether the state's health insurance plan should cover abortions in cases of rape or incest or when the mother's life is threatened.

The House reverted to the contentious issue as discussion about the state's $5 billion spending plan continued overnight, as legislators refused to adjourn.

The heated discussion followed the House's 57-54 vote late Tuesday rejecting the ban. But Republicans opted to reconsider the vote in an attempt to flip it. Democrats' attempts to allow exceptions specifically for incest or when a mother's life is in jeopardy were rejected.

But the House approved Rep. Greg Delleney's amendment 75-38 that the state would pay if an abortion was an "incidental" effect of a doctor trying to save a mother's life, provided the doctor attempted to save both.

Rep. James Smith said the ban would again victimize the victim of a heinous crime, who should be able to make a personal decision if a pregnancy results. "We don't live with the consequences of that decision," said the Columbia Democrat.