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Antiabortion-Rights Bills Miss S.C. Legislative Deadline

Antiabortion-Rights Bills Miss S.C. Legislative Deadline

May 5, 2014 — A series of antiabortion-rights bills proposed in South Carolina did not meet the Legislature's May 1 "crossover deadline," diminishing the chances that they will become law this year, the AP/Washington Times reports.

According to the AP/Times, bills that did not advance from one chamber to the other by May 1 need a two-thirds majority vote to be cleared for consideration by the remaining chamber before the two-year legislative session ends on June 5.

Stalled Bills

The antiabortion-rights bills that have not crossed over include two "personhood" measures introduced by state Sen. Lee Bright (R). The bills would have banned abortion by granting legal rights beginning at fertilization.

Another bill (S 204) sponsored by Bright would have required abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. The bill advanced to the Senate floor but was blocked during debate.

Finally, a bill (S 527) called the Pregnant Women's Protection Act would have granted pregnant women the right to defend threats against a fetus with deadly force. The bill stalled amid concerns from abortion-rights supporters that it could have undercut abortion rights because it defined a fetus as an "unborn child" beginning at conception (Adcox, AP/Washington Times, 5/1).