South Carolina governor signs law banning most abortions and Planned Parenthood sues


South Carolina’s governor on Thursday signed a law banning most abortions, one in every of his prime priorities since he took office greater than 4 years in the past. Planned Parenthood instantly sued, successfully stopping the measure from taking impact.

The “South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act” is much like abortion restriction legal guidelines {that a} dozen states have beforehand handed. All are tied up in court docket. Federal law, which takes priority over state law, at present permits abortion.

“There’s a lot of happy hearts beating across South Carolina right now,” Governor Henry McMaster mentioned throughout a signing ceremony on the statehouse attended by lawmakers who made the invoice a actuality.

The House handed its invoice by a 79 to 35 vote Wednesday after hours of emotional testimony from each supporters and opponents, and gave the measure remaining approval on Thursday. Moments after the second vote Thursday, Planned Parenthood introduced that it was submitting a lawsuit. The “South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act,” like different related legal guidelines at present being challenged, is “blatantly unconstitutional,” mentioned Jenny Black, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic.

Supporters of restrictive abortion legal guidelines try to get the problem earlier than the U.S. Supreme Court within the hopes that — with three justices appointed by Republican former President Trump — the court docket might overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 choice supporting abortion rights. The Supreme Court has beforehand dominated that abortion is authorized till a fetus is viable exterior the womb — months after a heartbeat will be detected, Black famous.

State payments to limit or ban abortion “are plainly absurd,” Black mentioned. “There is no other way around it.”

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson issued an announcement Thursday saying that his office “will vigorously defend this law in court because there is nothing more important than protecting life.”

Lawmakers who supported the invoice celebrated their long-awaited victory Thursday.

“We’re about to do what I’ve been trying to do for 25 years: shut down the abortion industry in South Carolina,” mentioned Republican Senator Larry Grooms.

Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit argues that South Carolina’s new law “is in flagrant violation of nearly five decades of settled Supreme Court precedent.” The swimsuit says a excessive rate of girls, particularly African Americans, die throughout or instantly after childbirth in South Carolina. The abortion ban would fall hardest on low-income girls, who would not be capable of journey to a close-by state the place abortion remains to be permitted, the swimsuit says.

Black mentioned the give attention to abortion wastes taxpayer money and ignores a bunch of different essential points reminiscent of well being care, unequal remedy of girls, and schooling, Black mentioned.

“If lawmakers are really interested in making lives better, we have a long list of priorities they can focus on,” Black mentioned.

South Carolina’s invoice requires medical doctors to carry out ultrasounds to verify for a heartbeat within the fetus. If one is detected, the abortion can solely be carried out if the being pregnant was attributable to rape or incest or the mom’s life is in peril.

The measure wouldn’t punish a pregnant lady for getting an unlawful abortion, however the one who carried out the abortion may very well be charged with a felony, sentenced as much as two years and fined $10,000 if discovered responsible.


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