Abortion ban in South Carolina temporarily blocked by state Supreme Court
The South Carolina state Supreme Court temporarily blocked the state’s six-week abortion ban from taking effect on Wednesday, a decision that came on the same day that the state legislature advanced legislation on a near-total ban on the medical procedure.
The state’s high court ruled on Wednesday to temporarily block the state’s current law, which bans abortions after around six weeks of pregnancy, from going into effect, but noted, “we nevertheless recognize the plenary authority of the legislature to legislate and make public policy decisions, subject only to the constraints imposed by the United States Constitution and the South Carolina Constitution.”
The decision was lauded by abortion rights advocates.
“Today the court has granted our patients a welcome reprieve, but the fight to restore bodily autonomy to the people of South Carolina is far from over. No matter what happens, we will never stop fighting for our patients’ right to make their own decisions about their bodies and futures,” Jenny Black, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, said in a statement.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson (R) noted he was “disappointed” in the outcome but noted the ruling was only temporary.
“While we are disappointed, it’s important to point out this is a temporary injunction. The court didn’t rule on the constitutionality of the Fetal Heartbeat law. We will continue to defend the law,” he said in a statement.
The court’s ruling came on the same day that the state legislature advanced separate legislation that would almost entirely ban abortions in the state. Under the bill, abortions would only be allowed when the patient’s life or health is at risk.
Physicians would be granted only very limited exceptions in which they could legally provide abortions in South Carolina, and otherwise would risk breaking the law by performing the procedure. Patients who receive abortions would not be prosecuted under the legislation.