SC House approves bill banning abortions beyond 19 weeks; same bill died in Senate last year

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COLUMBIA, South Carolina — The House has again approved a bill banning abortion in South Carolina beyond 19 weeks of pregnancy.

The 80-27 vote Wednesday occurred 11 months after the chamber last approved the proposal. It died in the Senate as the session ended last June.

Supporters say the issue involves protecting the unborn from pain. Opponents dispute the bill's assertion that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks.

Clinics in South Carolina don't provide abortions beyond 19 weeks. Opponents of Rep. Wendy Nanney's bill say such late-term abortions occur in hospitals, generally in wanted pregnancies that go horribly wrong, and politicians should have no role in such decisions.

The state's health agency says 38 abortions were performed in South Carolina at 20 or more weeks' gestation in 2013, the latest data available.

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