Aug 17, 2022 - Health

Court temporarily blocks South Carolina's six-week abortion ban

Picture of abortion rights advocates in south carolina

Photo: Joshua Boucher/The State/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The South Carolina state Supreme Court on Wednesday temporarily blocked the state's six-week abortion ban, which had taken effect shortly after Roe v. Wade was overturned.

Catch up fast: Abortion providers had sued state officials to challenge the ban, arguing that the law "violates the South Carolina Constitution's right to privacy and its guarantees of equal protection and due process."

  • The six-week ban had been blocked since March 2021. However, following the fall of Roe, a federal district court lifted the injunction of the law, allowing for it to become active on June 27.

Details: The ban — which has exceptions in cases of "medical emergency" — makes abortions illegal in the state when cardiac activity is detected, usually as soon as six weeks and well before many people know they are pregnant.

  • An abortion provider who violates the law could face a fine of $10,000 and two-year imprisonment.

What they're saying: "We applaud the court’s decision to protect the people of South Carolina from this cruel law that interferes with a person’s private medical decision," said Jenny Black, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, one of the plaintiffs in the case.

  • "For more than six weeks, patients have been forced to travel hundreds of miles for an abortion or suffer the life-altering consequences of forced pregnancy. Today the court has granted our patients a welcome reprieve," Black added.
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