Gov. Nikki Haley said Tuesday that she will almost certainly sign a bill banning abortion past 19 weeks in South Carolina.
"I can't imagine any scenario in which I wouldn't sign it," said the Republican governor. She said she will look at the details once the bill reaches her desk.
That could be soon. The GOP-controlled House is expected to vote Wednesday on a compromise the Senate passed last week.
The measure allows exceptions only if the mother's life is in jeopardy or a doctor determines the fetus can't survive outside the womb. That exemption for a "fetal anomaly" was crucial for the bill clearing the Senate, where Democrats have blocked the legislation since 2010.
Such anomalies are generally detected around 20 weeks.
Similar laws are in effect in 12 states. They've been blocked by court challenges in three others. But the U.S. Supreme Court has yet to rule on the ban's constitutionality.
Supporters believe a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks. Opponents argue such later-term abortions involve women who want a child but are confronted with a medical diagnosis that forces a difficult decision that shouldn't be up to politicians.
The measure's limited definition of "fetal anomaly" means it would be illegal to abort a fetus with a severe disability if the child could live.
Haley said Tuesday that she has always supported anti-abortion measures. She's previously explained that support as personal.
"I'm strongly pro-life, very pro-life and not because my party tells me to be, but my husband was adopted, and so every day I know the blessings of having him there," Haley said during her 2010 campaign for governor.
As a House member that year, Haley voted to end abortion coverage in the state health plan for employees who are victims of rape and incest. The Senate defeated that proposal.
In 2012, Haley signed a bill intended to ensure that a fetus surviving an abortion attempt is not treated as medical waste. It defined a person as anyone who is breathing and has a beating heart after birth, whether by labor, cesarean section, or abortion, copying a 2002 federal law enforceable on federal property.