South Carolina holds hearing on heartbeat abortion ban

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A small group of state senators is holding a hearing over whether South Carolina should follow the lead of other states and ban nearly all abortions .

The first 25 or so witnesses in the daylong hearing spoke before lunch Tuesday. They included doctors, pastors, Republican lawmakers and women who had abortions. An equal number were for and against the bill.

The measure would ban almost all abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, around six weeks into pregnancy. Subcommittee chairman Shane Martin said no vote would be taken Tuesday.

The bill easily passed the House in April and Gov. Henry McMaster enthusiastically supports it. But some backers aren’t sure it can get the two-thirds support likely needed to overcome procedural hurdles in the Senate.

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