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December 08, 2023

South Carolina Supreme Court Rejects Abortion Providers’ Challenge to State’s Fetal Heartbeat and Protection Act

On November 14, 2023, the South Carolina Supreme Court issued an opinion rejecting abortion providers’ latest challenge to the state’s new Fetal Heartbeat and Protection Act, which is generally assumed to ban abortion at six weeks.  Abortion providers, Greenville Women’s Clinic and Planned Parenthood, which operates clinics in Columbia and Charleston, argued that the wording of the law means that it applies to abortions at nine weeks when a fetus’s heart has developed.  These providers asked the state Supreme Court to enjoin the law while litigation continues or take up the definition of a “fetal heartbeat” directly. The court declined to do so, and thus, abortion will remain unavailable at six weeks of pregnancy in North Carolina. Further court challenges are expected.

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