SC bill banning abortions beyond 19 weeks stalls - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

SC bill banning abortions beyond 19 weeks stalls

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A bill banning abortion in South Carolina beyond 19 weeks of pregnancy has stalled in the state Senate, with lawmakers raising concerns that the bill also bans contraception.

A Medical Affairs subcommittee postponed a vote Wednesday. Senators said the bill is too broad. Debate will likely continue later this month.

The bill that passed the House last month asserts a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks old. Supporters argue the procedure is cruel and painful after 19 weeks. Opponents say whether a fetus can feel pain at that stage is questionable.

Under the bill, doctors who disregard the ban could be charged with a felony. It provides an exception only when the mother's life is endangered.

Opponents say the bill violates the Supreme Court's 1973 decision that legalized abortion.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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