SC Senate restricts abortions to get to road-repair bill

BY CASSIE COPE AND ANDREW SHAIN

The (Columbia) State, May 20, 2015

The S.C. Senate is a step closer to debating a proposal to raise money to fix the state’s crumbling roads after passing a ban Tuesday on abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy.

“The number of days are ticking away rather quickly,” said state Sen. Larry Grooms, R-Berkeley, who expects debate on a road-repair bill to start as early as Thursday.

With only eight legislative days left in the session, the road-repair bill was trapped behind the abortion bill on the Senate’s calendar until Tuesday.

Getting to the roads bill required that the Senate act on the abortion-restriction proposal. And, after days of threatened filibusters, the Senate finally acted, passing a bill that would bar abortions at the 20th week of pregnancy with exceptions for the life of the mother, and cases of rape, incest or severe fetal anomaly.

The action came as both abortion opponents and road-repair supporters urged the Senate to act.

A coalition of business leaders filled the State House lobby Tuesday, urging lawmakers to pass a road-repair bill.

Read more about this and what’s going on in Columbia.

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