The Senate passed a House bill Tuesday to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks of gestation.
The bill allows exceptions only if the mother’s life is in danger or if there are major abnormalities of the fetus.
State Sen. Derrick Simmons, D-Greenville, argued there should be exceptions for rape and incest.
“A child victim may not know prior to 20 weeks that she is pregnant,” Simmons said.
Sen. Joey Fillingane, R-Sumrall, said the bill doesn’t prohibit abortions but says only that abortions can’t be performed after 20 weeks except in rare circumstances.
Simmons questioned during the floor debate whether a group mostly of men was trying to decide what’s right for women. “I wore black because it’s a sad day for women’s rights,” Simmons said.
Fillingane said state Department of Health statistics showed 17 to 24 abortions performed in the state after 20 weeks in 2012.
“One is too many for me,” Fillingane said. “This bill is a way of curbing that.”