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SC House members gearing up for abortion ban debate

The bill, if passed, would ban nearly all abortions in South Carolina except for those needed to save a mother's life

COLUMBIA, S.C. — House Lawmakers are preparing to debate legislation Tuesday that would outlaw nearly all abortions in South Carolina except for those needed to save a mother's life.

This comes two months after the U.S. Supreme Court Overturned Roe v. Wade, which left the legality of abortions to state lawmakers to decide. 

House Democrats and Republicans are gearing up for a possible two day debate they say will be like any other. 

"AlLot of women, a lot of men who will be affected by this bill are standing up and saying no we do not want this," said Rep. Beth Bernstein (D-Richland). 

"With the Dobbs decision we know that what we do here this week is likely to be the law in South Carolina," said Rep. Micah Caskey (R-Lexington).

RELATED: Bill banning nearly all abortions heads to S. Carolina House floor

Caskey is one of three Republicans on the  House Judiciary Committee who did not vote on the bill earlier this month. 

"The bill has a long way to go before it could be something that looks right and ready to be a part of the law in South Carolina," said Caskey. "Right now I think it's a good starting point, but it’s not ready." 

RELATED: South Carolina's fetal heartbeat abortion law on hold by State Supreme Court

The bill includes a number of health conditions that would allow doctors to perform abortions. Although it does not criminalize South Carolinian's seeking an abortion, it outlines penalties for those who perform the procedure. 

It also includes banning the selling and buying of drugs that induce abortions. 

"I’m fighting as hard as I can to make sure if there’s any hope to prevent this bill from passing, that we do not pass this bill," said Bernstein. 

Exceptions for rape and incest in the abortion ban is expected to be a point of contention among both Republican and Democratic legislators. 

The debate comes as the state's Fetal Heartbeat Law is held up in court, meaning abortion is currently legal up to 20-weeks of pregnancy.

The Senate is set to return September 6 at 9 a.m. to debate what the House votes on. 

RELATED: SC's 20-week abortion law is now in effect: what you need to know

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