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South Carolina Gov. McMaster signs six-week abortion ban

The state Supreme Court struck down an earlier six-week ban in January, though lawmakers are confident the new ban will survive judicial scrutiny.

Published: May 25, 2023 5:57pm

Updated: May 25, 2023 8:02pm

South Carolina Republican Gov. Henry McMaster on Thursday signed a six-week abortion ban into law, tightening restrictions in one of the last Southern states will relatively permissive abortion laws.

"With my signature, the Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act is now law and will begin saving the lives of unborn children immediately. We stand ready to defend this legislation against any challenges because there is no more important right than the right to life," McMaster said.

The law already faces a legal challenge as Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, the Greenville Women’s Clinic, and two physician-plaintiffs filed a legal challenge to stop the ban from taking effect shortly after McMaster's signing, The Hill reported.

The state Supreme Court struck down an earlier six-week ban in January, though lawmakers are confident the new ban will survive judicial scrutiny, in part due to changes in the court's composition. Justice Kaye Hearn, who authored the previous decision, has since retired.

Before McMaster's signing of the bill, South Carolina permitted abortion up to 22 weeks of pregnancy, rendering it the most permissive state in the South in terms of abortion access. North Carolina imposed a 12-week ban earlier this month, while Florida and Georgia have adopted six-week bans. Most other southern states have almost entirely banned the procedure.

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

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