April 26, 2012 — A South Carolina Senate panel on Tuesday approved a budget clause that would ban the state's health plan from covering abortion unless a woman's life was in danger, the AP/Myrtle Beach Sun News reports. Currently, exceptions are allowed for abortion in the case of incest or rape. According to the AP/Sun News, the state House in 2010 approved a similar clause, but it was later removed by the Senate.
The proposal now will advance to the full Senate Finance Committee, which is working on a 2012-2013 state spending proposal this week. The Senate is expected to debate the budget in mid-May.
Proponents of the clause said they want to protect fetal rights, while opponents say it "re-traumatizes" crime victims, according to the AP/Sun News.
State Rep. Todd Rutherford (D) noted that the Senate will debate the issue without a single woman, because all of the senators are male. "The Republicans continue their assault on women and their reproductive rights," Rutherford said, adding, "When will it stop?" (Adcox, AP/Myrtle Beach Sun News, 4/24).
Repro Health Watch — an exciting new edition of the Women’s Health Policy Report — compiles and distributes media coverage of proposed and enacted state laws and ballot initiatives affecting women's access to comprehensive reproductive health care, as well as litigation in response to those provisions.