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Judge blocks South Carolina’s 6-week abortion ban for Supreme Court review

A South Carolina judge on Friday decided to suspend the six-week abortion ban until it can be reviewed by the state Supreme Court.

South Carolina Circuit Court Judge Clifton Newman granted a temporary restraining order on Friday morning, just 24 hours after Governor Henry McMaster (R) signed the measure.

Planned Parenthood South Atlantic and a South Carolina clinic immediately filed a lawsuit to block the ban once it became law.

Friday’s injunction means abortion access in South Carolina becomes legal again until about 20 weeks after fertilization.

“The status quo should be maintained until the Supreme Court reviews its decision,” Newman said, according to The Associated Press. “It will end there.”

Planned Parenthood called the injunction a “welcome reprieve.”

“While we have a long fight ahead, we will not stop until our patients are once again free to make their own decisions about their bodies and their futures,” said Jenny Black, President and CEO. of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, in a statement.

Shortly after the injunction was announced, McMaster pledged in a statement to continue fighting for the law and said he hoped the Supreme Court “would take up this matter without delay.”

In a press release Thursday, McMaster said the state is “prepared to defend this legislation against any challenge and is confident that we will succeed.”

“The right to life must be preserved and we will do everything possible to protect it.

The law, which the Republican-led South Carolina Senate passed by a 27-19 vote on Tuesday, includes exceptions for life and health of the patient and for fatal fetal anomalies. It also authorizes abortion up to 12 weeks in cases of rape or incest. Physicians who violate this will lose their license and face possible civil lawsuits. felony charges, a fine of up to $10,000 and two years in prison.

The state high court blocked a similar law last summer, after the US Supreme Court struck down constitutional abortion protections in 2022.

Molly Hennessy-Fiske and Rachel Roubein contributed to this developing story, which will be updated.


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