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Female lawmakers speak about rapes as abortion bills advance

COLUMBUS, Ohio — For more than two decades, Nancy Mace did not speak publicly about her rape. In April, when she finally broke her silence, she chose the most public of forums — before her colleagues in South Carolina’s legislature. A bill was being debated that would ban all abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected; Mace, a Republican lawmaker, wanted to add an exception for rape and incest. When some of her colleagues in the House dismissed her amendment — some women invent rapes to justify seeking an abortion, they claimed — she could not restrain herself. “For some of us who have been raped, it can take 25 years to get up the courage and talk about being a victim of rape,” Mace said, gripping the lectern so har ...
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