South Carolina bans abortion in nearly all circumstances

by Peter Heck · Feb 19th, 2021 8:11 am
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Last Updated Feb 21st, 2021 at 4:15 pm

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster signed a bill into law Thursday that bans nearly all abortions occurring in the state.

The bill has been nicknamed the "heartbeat" bill, as it effectively prohibits abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected. That usually occurs around the six-week mark, before most women know they are pregnant.

Similar laws have been passed in states like Ohio, Kentucky, Iowa, and North Dakota. Abortion advocates in each of those states filed lawsuits to halt implementation, all of which have been successful to this point.

In similar fashion, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic announced almost immediately after McMaster had signed the South Carolina law that they were seeking a court injunction to stop it. Jenny Black, CEO of the regional affiliate, said that if the law was allowed to take effect it would pose a "serious threat to South Carolinians' health and livelihood."

Alan Wilson, South Carolina's Attorney General, said in a statement that he would "vigorously defend" the law in any courtroom, "because there is nothing more important than protecting life."

The law does include exceptions for abortion in the case of rape, incest, or if the life of the mother is at risk.


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