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  • The Post and Courier

Nancy Mace and Annie Andrews spar on abortion, guns and more in SC congressional debate



Republican U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace and Democratic challenger Annie Andrews clashed fiercely over abortion rights, gun restrictions and gender-affirming care for children, all while attempting to paint the other as too extreme for South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District.


At times, their only debate of the season saw the exchanges devolve into bitter back-and-forths, with the candidates challenging each other directly and claiming their opponent was lying during their hour-long Oct. 19 forum broadcast from the WCBD-TV studios in Mount Pleasant.


For the most part the two women — both suburban moms of school-aged children — talked past each other as they made their pitch to voters with less than 20 days to go until Election Day.


One of the most contentious and personal exchanges came within the first 15 minutes, when both fielded questions about abortion.


Andrews stated that “abortion is healthcare” and said she supports access up until the point of fetal viability, generally around 24 weeks or, under South Carolina law, 21 weeks.


But Andrews also used much of her time to criticize Mace for an inconsistency in her record versus her rhetoric.


“My opponent’s record on abortion is very different than what she will tell you. Her name is on a personhood bill which defines life at the moment of fertilization,” Andrews said, referring to the Life at Conception Act.


She later challenged Mace to explain how she can both support exceptions for victims of rape, incest and the life of the mother, while also signing onto this bill.