At the end of a budget debate day that lasted more than 12 hours, South Carolina House members ended up deep into a debate on whether state insurance should pay for an abortions in the case of rape, incest, or if a mother’s life is at stake. The budget had contained a ban on insurance coverage for abortions.
Chester Republican Greg Delleney wanted to limit coverage to instances when a woman’s life is in danger. Bamberg County Democrat Bakari Sellers led the Democrat’s charge to cover rape and incest.
The most powerful comments came from Florence County Democrat Lester Branham, a retired Baptist minister, who said that some acts were the result of human stupidity, and that rape and incest are crimes committed by people. Branham says he was against abortion, but in favor of human freedom. Branham said the state refusing to pay for an abortion for a rape or incest victim makes the victim a slave to their economics.
(Branham on abortion MP3 9:50)
Branham on abortion
Greenville Republican Wendy Nanney took the podium against coverage for abortions resultant of rape or incest, saying that all human life is a gift.
Chesterfield County Democrat Ted Vick said he’s a pro-life Baptist.
In an angry, emotionally charged delivery, Orangeburg Democrat Gilda Cobb-Hunter, a social worker, said lawmakers had no right to deny an abortion to a woman covered under state insurance.
House budget debate continues Wednesday morning.