Judge blocks South Carolina governor's signature abortion ban

The injunction will remain in place until the state Supreme Court reviews the case.

On Friday, South Carolina Circuit Court Judge Clifton Newman temporarily blocked a state law restricting most abortions after the sixth week of pregnancy.

This Thursday, South Carolina Republican Governor Henry McMaster celebrated the signing of the legislative proposal known as the Fetal Heartbeat and Abortion Protection Act. But a few hours after the ban was signed, a Greenville women’s clinic, two doctors, and the nonprofit Planned Parenthood South Atlantic presented a lawsuit against the legislation, and shortly after that, the judge decided to block the law until the state Supreme Court reviewed it.

“Today, the court has granted our patients a welcome reprieve from this dangerous abortion ban. Our doors remain open, and we are here to provide compassionate and judgment-free health care to all South Carolinians,” said Jenny Black, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic. This organization operates two of the state’s three abortion clinics.

However, the governor was already prepared for this to happen. After signing the bill, McMaster said he was ready to defend the measure “against any challenges” that might arise. Just this Friday, he stated that he expected the state Supreme Court to take up the case and that a motion had already been filed to take prompt action and suspend the blockade pending case review.

“We’ve defended the right to life in court before, and we’re prepared to do it again,” said Republican Alan Wilson, the state’s attorney general.