On Thursday, South Carolina governor Gov. Henry McMaster signed a bill that would effectively ban abortion in the state of South Carolina. The bill, described as the “Fetal Heartbeat Bill” is one in a line of similar laws passed and promoted by Republican legislatures around the country.
“If there’s not a right to life, then what rights is there,” McMaster said as he passed the legislation. He was backed up by the state’s Attorney General, Alan Wilson, who said the state “will vigorously defend this law in court because there is nothing more important than protecting life.”
The bill bans abortion as soon as cardiac activity can be detected with an ultrasound.
Pro-choice groups have vowed to challenge the constitutionality of the law in court, pointing out that it deprives women of a constitutional right to make their own choices about their health care. The right of women to choose to have an abortion is derived from several key court cases, most notably Roe vs Wade.
In a court filing against South Carolina, Planned Parenthood said, “the temporary restraining order was needed in part because more than 75 women are scheduled to have abortions in the state over the next three days, and most of them would be banned under the new law.”
U.S. District Court Judge Mary Geiger Lewis issued a temporary restraining order against the law while it faces court challenges.
Polling has frequently shown that most Americans support the right to an abortion, with some restrictions. President Joe Biden received over 81 million votes in the most recent election, in part because he said he supports abortion rights. Biden received a majority of votes from women voting in the 2020 election.