COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A judge on Friday temporarily halted the new law ban most abortions at around six weeks of pregnancy until the state Supreme Court can review the measure.
Judge Clifton Newman’s ruling came just 24 hours after Gov. Henry McMaster signed the bill into law. The decision means South Carolina reverts to a ban about 20 weeks after fertilization.
The law approved Tuesday by the General Assembly is similar to the ban on abortion once cardiac activity is detected that lawmakers approved. in 2021.
The state Supreme Court decided in a 3-2 decision that the 2021 law violated the state’s constitutional right to privacy. Legislative leaders said the new law makes technical adjustments that should change at least one judge’s mind and that the author of the January ruling has retired.
The law entered into force as soon as it was signed and Family planning immediately sued, saying it put South Carolina abortion clinics in limbo with canceled appointments for patients later in their pregnancies and doctors who had to carefully review the 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 hurt if it were allowed to stay in effect until full judicial review.