The South Carolina Senate on Tuesday passed a bill banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, despite attempts to block it by five female senators, including three Republicans.
The bill will now move to the desk of South Carolina’s governor, who has stated he will sign it. This would make South Carolina the latest state to limit abortion since the Supreme Court struck down the federal right to the procedure last year.
Since that decision, a total of 24 states have enacted or attempted to enact similar restrictions.
By the sixth week of pregnancy, many women still do not know they are pregnant. Even if they did know, many abortion clinics have waiting lists that last for weeks, which would effectively turn the law into a total ban, critics argue.
Republicans in the state Senate tried to pass the initiative multiple times but were opposed by five women, including Republicans, who advocated for less stringent restrictions.
However, the corporation finally succeeded in obtaining the necessary votes after the lower house approved the measure.
It should be noted that a similar six-week ban in South Carolina has already been struck down by the state Supreme Court.
By not banning abortion, South Carolina, a conservative state surrounded by several states with similar restrictions, had become an unexpected haven for Southern women seeking to terminate their pregnancies.
State Senator Shane Massey stated, “South Carolina has become the abortion capital of the Southeast.”
Abortion advocates lamented the state’s loss of this outlier status. Alexis McGill Johnson, president of Planned Parenthood, stated, “This is a devastating blow to the women of South Carolina and to an entire region where abortion access options for patients continue to decline.” McGill Johnson added that the organization is prepared to challenge the law in court.
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said on Twitter that he looks forward to signing the bill into law as soon as possible.
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