Geoffrey Collins / AP
Just a day after Gov. Henry McMaster signed a bill banning most abortions in South Carolina, a federal court banned the procedure.
US District Court Judge Mary Geiger-Lewis issued a two-week temporary restraining order on Friday as the case, filed by Planned Parenthood, works its way through the legal system.
The “South Carolina Fetal Heart Rate and Abortion Protection Act“Abortion is prohibited once cardiac activity is detected using ultrasound. The only exceptions will occur in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is in danger.”
This leaves a window of about five to six weeks to legally terminate a pregnancy, which often happens before a patient realizes she is pregnant. Doctors who operate the operation after that time will face criminal charges.
Planned Parenthood and a women’s clinic in Greenville filed the emergency lawsuit, arguing that it would make abortion inaccessible to most South Carolina residents.
A hearing on the case is scheduled for March 9.
In court documents, Planned Parenthood said that “the temporary restraining order was partly necessary because more than 75 women are scheduled to have abortions in the state within the next three days, and most of them will be prohibited under the new law.” The Associated Press reported.
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Today, abortion remains safe and legal in South Carolina, and politicians’ plan to restrict access to health care has failed. Embed a Tweet: South Carolina residents need the COVID-19 plan, not an abortion ban. “ (1/2)
PP South Atlantic SC (PPSATSC) February 19, 2021
“Today, abortion is still safe and legal in South Carolina, and politicians’ plan to restrict access to health care has failed, ”said Jenny Black, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic. statement.
“As a leading provider of reproductive health care in the state, including abortion, our doors are open to the people of South Carolina who depend on us every day,” Black added.
Before signing the bill on Thursday, the governor said She saidIf there is no right to life, then what are the rights?
Before signing the bill, McMaster said, “What rights exist, if not the basic, fundamental and profound right to life,”
On Friday, McMaster added: “As I said – we will defend this law every step of the way. No lawsuit can weaken our resolve to fight for life.”
The state attorney general said, “We believe the Heartbeat Act is constitutional and deserves a vigorous defense before the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary,” USA Today mentioned.
Several other states have passed similar laws in recent years, which have also been challenged in the courts.
Abortion rights opponents hope one of these laws will make its way to the Supreme Court, forcing a challenge to the “Roe v. Wade” precedent that legalized abortion.
Sarah McCamon of NPR contributed to this report.