SC Republican Votes For Whole New Abortion Ban He Can Be Sad About Later
Rep. Neal Collins, video screenshot

The South Carolina House on Tuesday passed a ban on all abortions, but with very narrow exceptions for rape and incest, as well as if a patient is in immediate risk of death or injury. The 67-38 vote came after the chamber had earlier rejected a bill with no rape or incest exceptions. The bill will go to the state Senate when it returns after Labor Day.

Several Republicans in the House had vowed earlier that they couldn't possibly vote for an abortion ban with rape and incest exceptions — because as we all know, rape babies are gifts from God, even for 10-year-old girls who just need to have the right attitude — but when that version of the bill failed by eight votes, they found the courage to allow some extremely narrow exceptions, as the Associated Press explains.

The bill allows abortions up to 12 weeks after conception if a women tells a doctor she was raped. The doctor has to tell the woman he is going to report the rape to the county sheriff and has 24 hours after the procedure to give deputies the woman’s name and contact information. It also allows abortions to save a mother’s life.

Given that many instances of rape go unreported, and that very young rape victims may not even recognize pregnancy symptoms, AND that victims may decide they don't want to get law enforcement involved, it's nearly inevitable that some rape or incest victims will still be forced to carry pregnancies to term. God will surely bless them.

State Rep. Neal Collins was among the Republicans who voted for the bill; he's that fellow who belatedly realized that the state's "trigger" ban on abortion, which he voted for, was causing real pain for real people, like a 19-year-old woman who miscarried but couldn't get the non-viable fetus removed because it still had a heartbeat.

Read More: South Carolina Republican Decries Awful Abortion Ban He Helped Pass, You'll So Guess What Happened Next

As always, this is where we remind you that such "heartbeat" bills are misleadingly named, because at six weeks an embryo doesn't yet have a heart, just some electric pulses. At a hearing on this new bill last month, Collins explained that the case really made him sad, because that poor young woman could have faced serious health consequences from the earlier bill he had voted for.

There’s a greater than 50 percent chance that she’s gonna lose her uterus. There’s a 10 percent chance that she will develop sepsis and herself die. That weighs on me. I voted for that bill. [...]

These [laws] are affecting people, and we’re having a meeting about this. That whole week I did not sleep. I followed up with the doctor a week later. She had heard nothing ... Thank God I followed up two weeks later. She did return to the ER and they extracted the now non-beating fetus.

On Tuesday, Collins did at least vote against the no-exceptions version of the new ban, but once the extremely narrow rape and incest exceptions were added, he voted for it, because, he believes, it would protect women like the 19-year-old he'd heard about, so problem solved! In a very long Facebook post, Collins discussed the reaction after that video went viral — the "extreme Left" sent him some very rude messages! So did righties who said any exceptions would make him a baby killer! — and after a lot of back and forth on polling and such, tried to explain why he voted for the bill in its final form.

For all the above reasons, after hundreds of discussions, hours of thought and prayer, I could not vote for a bill that requires a 12 year old rape victim to carry. I voted against that bill. That bill failed 47-55. I understand I will upset the segment who want a full ban without exceptions.

The bill was then moved for reconsideration in which rape and incest exceptions up to 12 weeks were put in, child support for fathers from date of conception, & other clean up language. The bill protects contraception, IVF, and clearly lists conditions in which mother's life is at risk (hopefully eliminating the 19 yo situation). No other amendments passed or would have passed. Criminality on doctors stayed in, which the majority of my constituents approved but I personally did not. Since exceptions were put in, I voted for the second bill. It passed 67-38. I understand I will upset the segment who did not want anything to pass.

And sure, since this is a total ban on abortions from the moment of fertilization, that pesky "heartbeat" stuff is no longer an issue in treating a miscarriage. The bill's text does, as Collins says, include a fairly narrow exception to allow treatment to prevent the "substantial risk of death" or of "substantial risk of a substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function" of a pregnant patient. It specifies a number of conditions in which such treatment would be allowed, including ectopic pregnancies, miscarriages, severe preeclampsia, and quite a few more. It even notes that the enumerated conditions aren't the only ones that might qualify for the exception.

That said, the bill also requires

when an unborn child is alive in utero, the physician must make all reasonable efforts to deliver and save the life of an unborn child during the process of separating the unborn child from the pregnant woman, to the extent it does not adversely affect the life or physical health of the pregnant woman.

It also absolutely prohibits any consideration of mental health, and doesn't allow a procedure

to be considered necessary if based on a claim or diagnosis that a woman will engage in conduct that she intends to result in her death or in a substantial physical impairment of a major bodily function.

Sorry, if you say you're suicidal, you still have to carry that baby to term.

Beyond that, the bill still makes performing an abortion a criminal offense, with prison terms, for any abortion that can't be proved to fit within the exceptions, so as with other "life of the mother" exceptions, there's a strong incentive to wait to perform some procedures until the patient is "sick enough" to qualify as being at risk of dying.

In his Facebook post, Collins explained that he knew his vote wouldn't please anyone, and felt very sorry for himself because he just knows people are going to be all uncivil to him:

I knew, at the end, no one would cheer a nuanced position. I fully understand the comments are about to be all negative. It's why I led off with something more important than this issue - where we receive our information, how we communicate with each other, & can we return to being a community that knows one another or do we just tweet insults at one another? I'm trying to do my part to the best of my ability. With that, I'm now humbly your punching bag

Poor guy! Nobody seems to appreciate his nuanced efforts to both force women to carry pregnancies they don't want to term, while also protecting their lives in case they really have earned an abortion by being at risk of death. It's so unfair to him, could you please stop being so mean?

[AP / Jezebel / South Carolina General Assembly]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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