SC Legislature Overturns Proposed Abortion Coverage Ban
The South Carolina state House voted 57 to 54 early this morning against a provision in the proposed state budget that would have ended health insurance abortion coverage for victims of rape or incest. The provision had previously been approved by the state House Ways and Means Committee in February of this year.
State Representative Bakari Sellers (D) told the Associated Press, "This is a misguided attempt and a misguided effort to do what some believe is right...When you are that person that is pinned down in the back alley and raped; when you are that person that is actually assaulted sexually by your father - this is not a time for us to play political games. This is not the time for me to say my God is better than yours. This is a time to do what is right."
South Carolina currently requires women seeking an abortion receive counseling on the mental health impact of their decision and obtain parental consent for women under the age of 17, with the only exceptions being medical emergencies and instances of abuse, assault, incest, or neglect, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
State Representative Rex Rice (R) authored the measure and proposed a similar measure last year that was also not included in the state's final budget.
Media Resources: Associated Press 3/17/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 2/24/10; National Conference of State Legislatures