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SC early abortion ban headed for 2020 fight

The Senate debated a similar ban in 2018, but Republicans couldn't get a two-thirds vote needed to get over a procedural hurdle.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — (AP) —A bill banning almost all abortions in South Carolina is heading to the Senate floor for a 2020 election-year fight.

The Senate Medical Affairs Committee voted 9-6 to approve the "Fetal Heartbeat Protection from Abortion Act" on Tuesday. It would outlaw abortions after fetal cardiac activity can be detected, usually about six weeks after conception.

The vote came after the committee restored exceptions for pregnancies caused by rape or incest. The other exception is when the mother's life is in danger.

Some more moderate Republicans worried the bill had no chance to pass without the exceptions.

The Senate debated a similar ban in 2018, but Republicans couldn't get a two-thirds vote needed to get over a procedural hurdle. Democrats have added a seat since then.

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Bans in other states are all tied up in courts.

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