Why South Carolina’s new abortion law faces legal threats


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW / WAGT) – Immediately after South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster signed the South Carolina Cardiac Abortion Bill, Planned Parenthood has taken legal action.

But South Carolina Tories are hoping this will be their avenue to topple Roe v. Wade nationwide.

The bill requires doctors to do an ultrasound before an abortion.

If a heartbeat is detected, abortions would not be allowed unless the pregnancy was due to rape, incest, or the pregnancy would be medically unsafe.

Planned Parenthood claims the measure is unconstitutional and says six weeks is too early for most women to even know they are pregnant.

“A six-week ban is very early on,” said Jenny Black, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic. “Just to put that in context for you, it’s about two weeks after a missed period. This is long before many of our patients know they are pregnant. “

McMaster said he was backing this from day one.

“It is a duty we share as Americans and South Carolinians to protect life first and foremost. This is what we are here for, ”he said.

For Melissa Oremus, representative for District 84 of South Carolina, the bill is personal.

“I was in high school and got pregnant when I was 16,” said representative Oremus.

She said her daughter, now 25, is a testament to how motherhood is possible even in the most difficult situations.

“I just have to take responsibility for what I’ve done in my life and, you know, it’s hard sometimes. And you just have to work harder, ”she says.

A day after Governor McMaster signed the bill, a federal judge blocked its coming into force.

In May 2019, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a similar bill for the Peach State.

A month later, the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and the Center for Reproductive Rights all sued.

In the summer of 2020, the measure was declared unconstitutional. Kemp said he plans to appeal.

But attorney Vic Hawk predicts that similar bills will continue to pass, and organizations like Planned Parenthood will continue to file lawsuits.

“I expect the challenges to continue in all states that have passed this type of law, as there is a lot of controversy over the medical issue. There is a lot of controversy over the language of laws. There is a lot of controversy about the application of these laws, ”he said.

Hawk says pro-life lawmakers are motivated to pass bills like these in the hope that they will make it to the Supreme Court to be heard. It could change a precedent not only statewide, but nationally as well.

He says the Supreme Court has never considered a decision that found a bill unconstitutional under Roe v. Wade, and it’s hard to say if that will change anytime soon.

“It is obvious that the Supreme Court now has a majority of conservative judges. But the question of whether they will agree to overturn such a long-standing precedent is up for grabs, ”he said.

Planned Parenthood tells us that no such restrictive abortion bill has ever been honored. But for now, we’ll all just have to wait and see.

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