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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Legislation that would ban abortions after 19 weeks in South Carolina has advanced in the state Senate.

A subcommittee voted 4-1 Wednesday to advance the bill after amending it to exclude cases of rape, incest, fetal anomaly and where the life of the mother is in danger. Legislators also inserted language to protect the use of contraceptives and the morning after pill.

The proposed ban also would require a doctor terminating a pregnancy after the 19th week to do so in a way that gives the fetus the best chance of survival, without endangering the woman's life.

Supporters assert a ban is needed because a fetus at 20 weeks can feel pain. Opponents welcome the changes but called the bill too restrictive.

The bill, which passed the House 81-22 last month, goes to the Senate Medical Affairs Committee.
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