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The Latest: Rape exception back in SC early abortion ban

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on South Carolina’s heartbeat abortion bill (all times local):

11:45 a.m.

A bill banning nearly all abortions in South Carolina again has an exception for rape and incest victims.

The Senate Medical Affairs Committee was considering the on Tuesday. It would outlaw abortions after fetal cardiac activity can be detected, usually about six weeks after conception.

The bill has allowed for abortions when the mother’s life is in danger. It passed the House with additional exceptions for rape and incest. Conservative Republican Sen. Richard Cash removed the rape and incest exceptions in September.

But three Republicans, including Senate President Harvey Peeler, did not go along at Tuesday’s meeting.

Some more moderate Republicans worried the bill had no chance to pass without the exceptions.

More than a half-dozen states have passed similar bans, and Alabama has approved a ban on all abortions. The laws are all tied up in courts.

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1:10 a.m.

South Carolina lawmakers could get a step closer to banning all abortions in the state.

The Senate Medical Affairs Committee is expected to pass a so-called “heartbeat abortion” bill Tuesday.

The measure would make almost all abortions illegal in South Carolina after fetal cardiac activity is detected, usually around six weeks after conception.

More than a half-dozen other states have passed similar or more restrictive bans. All are tied up in courts.

If the bill passes the committee, it would go to the Senate floor for the 2020 session. But it may not get any further.

One road block may have been put up by the bill’s most ardent supporters.

The proposal passed the House allowing exceptions for pregnancies caused by rape or incest. A Senate subcommittee removed those exceptions.

Associated Press

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