MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Abortion providers in South Carolina are already having to turn patients away, according to Planned Parenthood South Atlantic.
This comes after Wednesday’s State Supreme Court voted to uphold a law that bans most abortions after about six weeks into a pregnancy.
The decision was made Wednesday morning, and just a few hours later, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic held a virtual press conference voicing its concerns for the impact it will have on women in the state and region.
It also invited people to join its rally outside the State House just hours after.
The Fetal Heartbeat Act prohibits most abortions about six weeks into pregnancy, with exceptions for the life or health of the mother, fatal fetal abnormalities, medical emergencies and up to 12 weeks in cases of rape or incest.
In February 2021, Gov. Henry McMaster signed the version of the bill into law. A federal judge blocked it the next day after Planned Parenthood and other groups challenged it.
The following year, a federal judge lifted the block after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade.
Planned Parenthood and other groups again challenged it, and the State Supreme Court issued a temporary injunction to block the law.
The court then struck it down in January this year, citing a violation of the state constitution’s right to privacy.
The State’s General Assembly then passed a revised version of the legislation in late May, and McMaster then signed the new bill into law. Planned Parenthood filed another challenge.
The all-male court upheld the new law by a 4-1 vote on Wednesday.
“And we have seen this devastation throughout the southeast and parts of the midwest of this country,” said Katherine Farris, Chief Medical Officer of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic. “It is absolutely horrible for South Carolinians that they are now going to be faced with the same lack of autonomy and the need to leave the state in order to access critical healthcare.”
Another Planned Parenthood South Atlantic official told News13 that since it’s a State Supreme Court ruling, they don’t have anywhere else to go at this time.
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Claire Purnell is a multimedia journalist at News13. Claire is from Louisville, Kentucky. Claire joined the News13 team in January 2023 after graduating from the University of Colorado-Boulder in December 2022. Follow Claire on Twitter and read more of her work here.