May 2, 2014 — A South Carolina Senate committee advanced a 20-week abortion ban (H 4223) after adding exceptions for rape, incest and fetal anomalies, among other changes, the AP/Charleston Post and Courier reports.
The measure now proceeds to the state Senate Medical Affairs Committee (Coffman Smith, AP/Charleston Post and Courier, 4/30).
Formerly, the only exception to the ban was to save a woman's life. The bill also would require a physician to try to deliver the fetus alive, estimate the age of the fetus and report the patient's age, her race and the method of abortion to the state.
Physicians who violate the ban could face civil charges of "unprofessional conduct." Those convicted of criminal changes could face punishments of up to three years in prison and penalties of up to $10,000.
The bill recently stalled in a Senate subcommittee over concerns that it would have effects beyond banning abortion (Women's Health Policy Report, 4/18). The committee on Wednesday added language to the measure that would protect the use of emergency contraception and other contraceptives, according to the AP/Post and Courier (AP/Charleston Post and Courier, 4/30).