April 26, 2012 — A South Carolina Senate panel on Tuesday approved a budget clause that would ban the state's health plan from covering abortion unless a woman's life was in danger, the AP/Myrtle Beach Sun News reports. Currently, exceptions are allowed for abortion in the case of incest or rape. According to the AP/Sun News, the state House in 2010 approved a similar clause, but it was later removed by the Senate.
The proposal now will advance to the full Senate Finance Committee, which is working on a 2012-2013 state spending proposal this week. The Senate is expected to debate the budget in mid-May.
Proponents of the clause said they want to protect fetal rights, while opponents say it "re-traumatizes" crime victims, according to the AP/Sun News.
State Rep. Todd Rutherford (D) noted that the Senate will debate the issue without a single woman, because all of the senators are male. "The Republicans continue their assault on women and their reproductive rights," Rutherford said, adding, "When will it stop?" (Adcox, AP/Myrtle Beach Sun News, 4/24).