Columbia, South Carolina – The South Carolina governor signed a law on Thursday that bans most abortions, one of his top priorities since taking office more than four years ago. The Planned Parenthood organization immediately filed a lawsuit, thus preventing the law from taking effect.
The so-called “South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat Protection Act” is similar to abortion restriction laws that have previously been passed by a dozen states. They are all stuck in court. Federal law, which takes precedence over state law, currently allows abortion.
“There are a lot of happy hearts beating throughout South Carolina right now,” proclaimed Republican Gov. Henry McMaster during a ceremony attended by lawmakers who made the bill a reality.RELATED
The state lower house passed the bill 79-35 on Wednesday, after hours of emotional testimony from supporters and opponents, and gave final approval Thursday.
Moments after Thursday’s second ballot, Planned Parenthood announced that it was filing its lawsuit. South Carolina’s so-called “Fetal Heart and Abortion Protection Act” is “blatantly unconstitutional,” said Jenny Black, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic.
Opponents of abortion are trying to take the case to the Supreme Court in the hope that – with three justices appointed by former Republican President Donald Trump – the highest court will reverse Roe v. Wade, a 1973 decision that supports abortion rights.
Black stressed that the Supreme Court previously ruled that terminating a pregnancy is legal until a fetus is viable outside the womb, months after a heartbeat can be detected.