With S.C. law on hold, abortions set to resume this weekend

South Carolina's State House
South Carolina's State House(Gray)
Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 6:06 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The South Carolina Supreme Court says it will take up a challenge to the state’s six-week abortion ban.

This comes from Wednesday’s order temporarily blocking the “Fetal Heartbeat Law” from being enforced for the time being.

Abortion providers claim the ban violates rights in the state constitution to equal protection and privacy.

Planned Parenthood says it believes a Supreme Court hearing on the state’s current abortion law could take place by late September.

Meanwhile – the state Legislature is the process of debating a potential total or near-ban on abortion.

Asked if the General Assembly should slow down that process until after the court rules on the current law, Gov. Henry McMaster said:

“That may be the impact of it. It may not be. But I know that—I’m encouraging and have been encouraged by the deliberate careful steps that have been made in the legislature and by those both supporting and opposing what has been proposed.”

But for now, the Supreme Court’s temporary injunction means abortions are again legal in South Carolina before 20 weeks.

Planned Parenthood says it’s looking to resume providing first-trimester abortions at its South Carolina clinics this weekend.

“We have already started reaching out to staff and scheduling them for longer hours and contacting the patients who we have already seen and who have appointments in North Carolina to see if they want to stay here,” said Planned Parenthood’s Vicki Ringer.

Ringer says she remain cautiously optimistic for what’ll happen in both the courthouse and the State House.

That’s where a bill that would ban all abortions – except for limited circumstances in which the mother’s life and health are in jeopardy – awaits debate on the House floor.

“And hope that the women of this state feel supported by the lawmakers and the judges who make decisions about their lives every day,” Ringer said.

But it remains to be seen whether the impending Supreme Court case on the current law has any impact on deliberations over a future law.

“In the end, I think South Carolina will have a good, reasonable law that the vast majority of people in the state will be comfortable with,” McMaster said.