South Carolina Governor Signs Bill Banning Most Abortions, Planned Parenthood Files Lawsuit

South Carolina governor Henry McMaster signed a bill into law Thursday that would ban most abortions.

On Wednesday the South Carolina House passed the bill by an overwhelming 79-35 vote before sending it to the desk of Governor McMaster, who was eagerly awaiting to sign it.

“There’s a lot of happy hearts beating across South Carolina right now,” McMaster said during the signing ceremony.

The bill, titled the “South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act,” is similar to other legislation passed in states like Missouri, Louisiana, Georgia, and Alabama. According to NBC News, South Carolina’s bill would require doctors to perform an ultrasound to check for a fetus’ heartbeat, and if the fetus did have a heartbeat, the mother could only terminate her pregnancy if her life is in danger, or if it was caused by rape or incest.

The new law would allow authorities to charge someone who performed an abortion that did not meet this criteria. If convicted, they would face up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine. A woman who gets an illegal abortion would not be punished.

Predictably, Planned Parenthood filed an immediate lawsuit that has prevented the bill from taking effect. They assert that the new law is “blatantly unconstitutional” and “in flagrant violation of nearly five decades of settled Supreme Court precedent.”

They are of course referring to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that enshrined abortion as a legal right protected by the federal government. It is no secret, however, that the passage of abortion ban bills and their subsequent tie-ups in court could lead the Supreme Court to hear a case in which they may overturn Roe v. Wade. And what a blessing that would be.

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