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South Carolina House approves six-week abortion ban

South Carolina remains one of the few Southern states that does not currently have a strict ban on abortion.

Published: May 18, 2023 3:51pm

The South Carolina House has approved a ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, sending it to the desk of Gov. Henry McMaster, R, who is expected to sign it.

The state House approved the measure in an 82-32 vote on party lines, according to the Washington Examiner, after the Senate granted its approval in 28-21 vote in February. Democratic state Rep. John King filed 1,000 amendments to the bill before its final passage.

South Carolina remains one of the few Southern states that does not currently have a strict ban on abortion, which many enacted in the aftermath of the Supreme Court's 2022 Dobbs v. Jackson decision that empowered states to regulate the procedure.

Republicans celebrated the measure's passage, expressing relief that the state would likely not become a regional destination for those seeking abortions.

The bill, said Rep. John McCravy, R, "is the best pro-life bill we can pass in South Carolina at this moment in time... [N]ot only [will it] save thousands of lives, it will prevent South Carolina from becoming a destination state for abortion."

The Republican stronghold's status as one of the few remaining southern states with relatively permissive laws on the procedure stems in part from a state judicial decision upending a prior ban.

In January of this year, the state Supreme Court struck down a six-week abortion ban as unconstitutional, saying that "[w]e hold that the decision to terminate a pregnancy rests upon the utmost personal and private considerations imaginable, and implicates a woman's right to privacy."

"While this right is not absolute, and must be balanced against the State's interest in protecting unborn life, this Act, which severely limits—and in many instances completely forecloses—abortion, is an unreasonable restriction upon a woman's right to privacy and is therefore unconstitutional," wrote Justice Kaye G. Hearn.

It remains unclear whether the new ban will survive legal scrutiny.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.

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