COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The South Carolina House has approved legislation banning what anti-abortion activists call a "dismemberment abortion."
An 83-17 vote Thursday sent the bill to the Senate.
The bill makes it a felony for doctors to use forceps or similar instruments on a live fetus to remove it from the womb in pieces. The medical term is dilation and evacuation. The New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights says that's the safest and most common way of terminating a second-trimester pregnancy.
According to the state's public health agency, 19 to 34 such procedures were performed annually in South Carolina from 2010 to 2015.
The bill's supporters say the procedure is disturbing and immoral.
Opponents say politicians aren't doctors and shouldn't interfere with women's access to a safe abortion.
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