COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - South Carolina lawmakers in the Senate have voted to pass the Fetal Heartbeat Bill after several days of debate.
The bill now goes to the House, where it’s likely to pass.
Republicans hold majorities in both chambers, and they’ve made it a priority to pass this legislation at the beginning of the current session.
Senators voted 30 to 13 for the bill’s passage on Thursday, largely along party lines.
One Democrat voted with Republicans in favor of the bill: Kent Williams, of Marion. Alternately, one Republican voted against the bill: Sandy Senn, of Charleston.
The bill would ban abortions in the state once a heartbeat is detected, which usually occurs around six to eight weeks into a woman’s pregnancy.
Senators did vote to add four exceptions to the ban: in the case of rape, incest, a fetal anomaly, or if the mother’s life is threatened by her pregnancy.
Gov. Henry McMaster has been vocal in his support of the bill, urging lawmakers to pass it.
Similar laws passed in other states have been tied up in court battles.
However, proponents of South Carolina’s Fetal Heartbeat Bill say the opinion of the courts are changing, and they believe the new conservative majority in the Supreme Court will help their case.