SC budget debate to include abortion

Associated Press

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) Another abortion fight is looming as part of the debate on South Carolina's 2012-13 budget.

A Senate panel on Tuesday unanimously approved a budget clause eliminating a woman's ability to get an abortion through the state health plan if she's a victim of rape or incest.

The panel left only one exception to the ban on abortions through state insurance - when the mother's life is in jeopardy.

Republican Sen. Ken Bryant of Anderson says the proposal is to protect the rights of an unborn child. Opponents say it re-traumatizes crime victims, but Bryant says the unborn child shouldn't be harmed, too.

The fight pops up repeatedly in the South Carolina Legislature. The House approved a similar clause during an overnight budget debate in 2010, and the Senate removed it.

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