After Filibuster, South Carolina Senate Kills Abortion Ban Bill

(CN) – A bill that would have banned nearly all abortions in South Carolina was narrowly struck down by the State Senate early Friday  morning after Democrats filibustered for 13 hours during its final reading.

The bill would have outlawed all abortions except for those ending pregnancies resulting from rape or incest, or in cases where continuing the pregnancy would pose a health risk to the woman.

According to The State newspaper, Sen. Majority Leader Shane Massey, a Republican sponsor of the legislation, said the bill was designed “to give the court an opportunity to revisit Roe v. Wade.”

In the end, however, five Republicans changed their votes to side with the Democrats, killing the bill for the session.

“The entire Democratic caucus voted against it, and all the Republicans needed was for one Democrat to leave for it to have passed. No one left,” said Philip Chambers, chief of staff for the South Carolina Democratic Party. “Our guys argued that [attempting to pass this bill] was a misplaced priority and terrible for women’s reproductive rights.”

Eme Crawford, spokeswoman for the Women’s Right Empowerment Network, a South Carolina based advocacy group, said the bill was “supported by male republican extremist lawmakers who are playing politics with women’s health and women’s rights.

“South Carolina already has negative standings for health and women’s health. We don’t need this too. We are 47th in the nation for women’s equality,” Crawford said.

A representative of the South Carolina Republican party did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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