South Carolina politicians enacted a ban on most abortions after foetal heart activity begins around six weeks.
The hotly contested bill, which is expected to be signed by Republican Gov, Henry McMaster’s law, passed largely partisan, with the exception of five female members of the state Senate – three Republicans, one Democrat and one Independent – who all opposed it.
“What we are doing today is not going to do away with illegal abortions – it is going to cause illegal abortions,” said state Senator Sandy Senn, a Republican who was among the five female senators, who successfully blocked an even more stringent ban last month. When … your teenagers end up dying because they went to get an illegal abortion because they didn’t know they were pregnant before six weeks – it is our fault,” she said, reports RTE.
The Republican-backed bill is an amended version of an earlier measure that the state Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional before many women know they are pregnant.
It allows abortion for up to 12 weeks for rape and circumcision, except in medical emergencies.
If the measure survives expected court challenges, it will block an influx of women from neighboring Southern states with ultraconservative abortion laws coming to South Carolina for treatment.
Last year, the US Supreme Court overturned a nearly 50-year-old federal abortion law in its Roe vs Wade, which prompted several other states in the southern US to impose severe restrictions on abortion.
State Senator Shane Massey, a Republican who supported the ban, defended the measure as a way to bring South Carolina’s abortion restrictions more in line with other Southern states, and said it corrected the mistakes that led the Supreme Court to rule make the State that has found a violation of the state’s constitutional right to privacy.
“South Carolina has become the abortion capital of the Southeast,” Mr Massey said during yesterday’s debate, reports RTE.
Abortion rights advocates stated they would have to sue to block the measure once again.
“We’ll see you in court,” Planned Parenthood South Atlantic tweeted moments after yesterday’s voting, reports RTE.
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