Judge hears arguments on temporary block of South Carolina abortion law

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A federal judge said Monday that a decision will come shortly on whether to suspend a new South Carolina law banning abortions through the end of a legal challenge from Planned Parenthood.

U.S. District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis put a temporary restraining order on the law that expires March 19. The law requires doctors to perform ultrasounds to check for a heartbeat in the fetus, which can typically be detected about six weeks after conception.

If one is detected, the abortion can only be performed if the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest or the mother’s life is in danger.

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