South Carolina House lawmakers have advanced a bill that would ban abortions after 19 weeks of pregnancy.
In a unanimous vote, the House panel of four Republicans and one Democrat allowed the bill to clear its first hurdle Thursday by unanimously passing it up to the House Judiciary Committee. Similar legislation passed the House in 2014, but opponents prevented it from reaching a vote in the Senate.
Currently, South Carolina bans abortions after 23 weeks — which is when it considers a fetus to be “viable,” or potentially able to survive outside the mother’s womb. The bill’s sponsor State Rep. Wendy Nanney, R-Greenville, argues whether or not a fetus can feel pain after 19 weeks should be considered.
“As human beings, we’re not going to intentionally inflict pain on a little baby,” she told South Carolina Radio Network.