A South Carolina Senate medical panel advanced a proposal last week which would ban a type of abortion opponents criticize as exceptionally cruel.
“What’s being prohibited is a dismemberment abortion” State Sen. Tom Davis, R- Beaufort, said at the Senate Medical Affairs subcommittee meeting last week.
Anti-abortion activists call for a ban on the procedure because it requires a physician use forceps to break apart a live fetus in order to remove it from the womb. Instead, they prefer providers find another method to stop the unborn infant’s heart first. But the bill’s opponents say the “dilation and evacuation” procedure is the safest option for the mother. Because it comes after three months of pregnancy, such abortions are often done due to a potentially fatal genetic defect found on the child. It makes up only a tiny sliver of total abortions in South Carolina, but is the most comon among second-trimester cases.
After nearly an hour of testimony that included graphic detail about the procedure, the committee voted 3-2 in favor of advancing the proposed legislation to full committee. The
The bill sponsored by State. Rep. Lin Bennett, R-Charleston, passed the House last year in a 83-17 vote.
Opponents of the bill told lawmakers the provision takes medical options away from women and would likely be found unconstitutional. There have been legal challenges in other states which has prevented similar legislation from becoming law.