South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster signed a six-week abortion ban into law on Thursday, bringing it in line with a number of other red states that have moved to protect life in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade last year.
“With my signature, the Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act is now law and will begin saving the lives of unborn children immediately,” McMaster said in a statement. “This is a great day for life in South Carolina, but the fight is not over. We stand ready to defend this legislation against any challenges and are confident we will succeed. The right to life must be preserved, and we will do everything we can to protect it.”
With my signature, the Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act is now law and will begin saving the lives of unborn children immediately. We stand ready to defend this legislation against any challenges because there is no more important right than the right to life.— Gov. Henry McMaster (@henrymcmaster) May 25, 2023
South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, who announced his presidential bid on Monday, praised the state’s move protecting unborn children.
“The state is trying to protect the culture of life, and that’s good news. I mean, the heartbeat bill is a step in the direction of that,” Scott told South Carolina Education Television host Gavin Jackson.
The law, which takes effect immediately, bans abortions after a heartbeat can be detected, though some exceptions are permitted. Physicians who violate the law will have their licenses revoked in the state and could face felony charges, two years in jail, and a fine of up to $10,000.
A similar ban from 2021 was overturned by the state Supreme Court earlier this year, but Republicans are hopeful this law will withstand legal challenges, which are already coming.
“State lawmakers have once again trampled on our right to make private health care decisions, ignoring warnings from health care providers and precedent set by the state’s highest court just a few months ago,” Planned Parenthood South Atlantic’s President and CEO Jenny Black said in a statement.
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