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SC governor signs abortion ban setting up a legal battle among advocates

Supreme Court
Posted at 1:41 PM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-18 16:41:47-05

South Carolina's governor has signed a bill banning most abortions.

Jubilant lawmakers and members of the public gathered at the statehouse Thursday to watch Gov. Henry McMaster sign into law the “South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act.”

Afterward, they sang the words “Praise God” to the tune of “Amazing Grace." Planned Parenthood filed a federal lawsuit Thursday challenging the measure, calling it “blatantly unconstitutional."

State Attorney General Alan Wilson responded, saying he would defend the law in court. The measure has been a top priority of McMaster's since he took office in 2017.

A court hearing will be held Friday to decide whether the law will be suspended while the challenge is being heard.

Conservatives are hopeful that a long-standing precedent set in Roe V. Wade of legal abortions in the US will be overturned with the help of three Trump-appointed Supreme Court justices. The court ruled that in the first trimester of a pregnancy, an abortion is safer than labor, and that laws could in general could not restrict a woman's access to abortion. By the third trimester, the court ruled that there is a compelling state interest that would allow laws to protect prenatal life.