Judge stops tough new South Carolina abortion law pending court review
COLUMBIA, SC (AP) — A judge on Friday suspended South Carolina’s new law banning most abortions around six weeks pregnant until the state Supreme Court can review the measure.
Judge Clifton Newman’s decision came about 24 hours after Governor Henry McMaster signed the bill into law. The decision means South Carolina reverts to a ban about 20 weeks after fertilization.
The law passed by the General Assembly on Tuesday is similar to a ban on abortion once heart activity can be detected that lawmakers passed in 2021.
The state Supreme Court ruled in a 3-2 decision that the 2021 law violates the state constitution’s right to privacy. Legislative leaders said the new law makes technical changes that should cause at least one judge to change his mind and the author of the January ruling has since retired.
The law went into effect as soon as it was signed, and Planned Parenthood immediately sued, saying it was putting South Carolina abortion clinics in limbo with canceled appointments for patients further along in their pregnancies and physicians to carefully consider new regulations.
The abortion rights group said the new law was so similar to the old one that clinics and women seeking treatment would be harmed if it was allowed to remain in effect until a full judicial review .
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