A house budget panel has approved a proposal that would stop state insurance payments on abortions for rape or incest victims. But, lawmakers admit the proposal is more about making a point than saving tax dollars.
State Representative Rex Rice, who is running for Congress, wants to alter the state insurance plan. It currently covers abortions for state workers in extreme situations including rape, incest or when the mother's life is in danger. But Rice says there's never a reason to end a pregnancy and he wants to change the law.
There's not enough money flowing in, to keep South Carolina's budget balanced. Lawmakers are grappling with the issue, daily. State Rep. Rex Rice says one way to cut the budget is to create boundaries on how tax dollars can be used.
"Personally I don't feel like my tax dollars should go to fund abortions," said Rex Rice.
Rice is determined to change the state health plan.
"I believe God created every human being and I don't think the state tax dollars should be used for abortions to eliminate a life," said Rice.
Voter reaction to Rice's proposal is mixed. Some agree, some disagree and others say its much more about politics.
"If it were rape or incest with the situation, I think the state should not make the situation that's already bad worse," said South Carolina voter Michael Strange.
"I don't believe in abortions," said South Carolina voter Marvin Oree. "In spite of the situation, in spite of the circumstance, who are we to take someone's life?"
"This state is unpredictable because they're cutting back on this and cutting back on that," said South Carolina voter Benjamin Boatwright. "And saying they don't have this and they don't have that, it's just a politician thing."
Abortion is a controversial issue. Rice knows this could be a long battle, but he's not fighting alone.
"I will continue to stay with this and watch it," said Rice. "There's a lot of members of the House that support this."
In two weeks lawmakers will vote to green light the proposed changes or leave the state healthcare plan as it is.