South Carolina Senate blocks abortion ban bill in late-night vote

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That was after a vote to end a filibuster by Democrats failed by one vote.

It included exceptions for cases of rape, incest or medical emergencies that threaten the mother's life. A vote came at 1 a.m. ET, when Democrats were certain they had enough votes to send the proposal back to committee.

Because of the current make-up of the U.S. Supreme Court and lower courts, a law to prohibit abortions in the first trimester most likely would not survive a court challenge.

On Wednesday, lawmakers in Iowa voted to ban most abortions if a fetal heart beat is detected. South Carolina Republicans said they hoped they were courting that battle, in hopes of reversing the ruling.

This year's state legislative sessions have featured a big wave of anti-abortion activity in Republican-controlled jurisdictions. Louisiana lawmakers are considering a similar proposal. But when none of them left after going deep into the night, Rankin said he feared the clock would run out on the session without passing either the abortion ban or any of the other bills they hope to take up. It is heading to the governor's desk. But those states all provide immunity for a woman who has an abortion. After it was introduced, a South Carolina Planned Parenthood spokesperson threatened a legal challenge.

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Democrats also suggested it could even ban the use of birth control pills or intrauterine devices.

It's a rare "victory" for Democrats in the south, who are outnumbered in virtually all state houses, and though the bill isn't dead, it's been dealt a severe blow. Doctors say it is only done on fetuses who can't live outside the womb, or if the mother's life is in danger. In proposing the amendment, he challenged the state's Republicans to show their cards on abortion.

"It's a guaranteed court action", Senate Majority leader Shane Massey of Edgefield said.

The bill originally banned a rare abortion procedure called dismemberment abortion, which was performed 22 times in 5,736 abortions in SC in 2016. "Any bill that reduces abortions in SC, I am for, and I will sign — including that one".