A South Carolina State Senator is filibustering a bill that would make abortion illegal for 20 weeks, not because he doesn’t hate abortion—he totally, loudly does—but because the bill makes an exception for victims of rape and incest. Those rape and incest victims had 20 whole weeks, State Senator Lee Bright, says, and now they’re just going to have to give birth.
As The State reports, in a story we saw via the Huffington Post, Bright, who is a Republican, began his filibuster on Thursday, arguing that the ban simply didn’t go far enough. As HuffPo’s Laura Bassett reports, he thought 20 weeks was plenty long enough, and besides, aren’t women just going to lie about getting raped anyway? Don’t they do that?
“We’re not talking about a woman that was assaulted that goes into the emergency room— which, I would argue, that child still has a right,” Bright said. “We’re talking about somebody that had 20 weeks.”
Bright said he worried that women would falsely claim they were raped in order to qualify for the exemption. “After 20 weeks if you wanted to get an abortion you could go and say you were raped and you could have the abortion,” he said. “You wouldn’t be denied. There’s no police report.”
There’s nothing a woman likes better, in a conservative Republican’s imagination, than to sit around, dreaming up ever-more complex ways to get a late-term abortion.
Bright came in for some criticism, even from fellow anti-abortioneers: Holy Gatlin of Citizens for Life told The State, “He does not seem to understand the strategy that will save babies’ lives. We do not agree with these exceptions, but this isn’t the end game. Sometimes, you have to concede a battle to win a war.” In response, Bright shared a press release on Facebook from the South Carolina Pastors Alliance, which called him “a consistent and stalwart advocate for the pre-born,” and added, “this is a prime example of his commitment.” He also called a press conference with women who were conceived from rape and who supported his filibuster:
Despite his best efforts, Bright failed: the bill passed this afternoon, with exceptions for victims of rape and incest and for the loosely defined “fetal abnormality.”
Image via Lee Bright/Facebook