The political and judicial war on abortion experienced a frenetic 24 hours. During this period, the South Carolina House of Representatives passed a law banning it after the sixth week of gestation, meanwhile, the governor of Rhode Island, Dann McKee, signed a rule whereby the state will pay for health insurance that includes abotion for public employees and Medicaid beneficiaries. In addition, a Montana court upheld a Planned Parenthood complaint and temporarily blocked enforcement of a law banning dismemberment abortion.
A 'heartbeat law' in South Carolina
South Carolina representatives approved by a vote of 82 to 32 that no abortions can be performed in the state after six weeks. The state Senate had already passed this rule last February, so it was sent for signature to Governor Henry McMaster's office. This rule is known as the "Law of the heartbeat." since experts point out that the fetal heartbeat can already be heard at this time of pregnancy.
— South Carolina Freedom Caucus (@SCFreedomCaucus) May 18, 2023
This is the second time that Republican politicians have tried to push through the abortion ban with this time frame, however, in January of this year the state Supreme Court declared the previous one unconstitutional on the grounds that it was an "unreasonable restriction on a woman's right to privacy."
Rhode Island rushes to pass law to universalize abortion
Rhode Island legislators accelerated to ratify a rule to the contrary. Just hours after the state senate passed a rule to allow the use of state funds to finance health insurance to cover abortions for public employees and Medicaid recipients, the governor signed it, thereby ratifying it. The main objective of this rule is to "ensure equal access," according to Mckee, to people with less economic capacity.
Here in Rhode Island, we will always protect a woman's right to choose and ensure equal access to these crucial health care services.
I'm proud to sign the Equality in Abortion Coverage Act into law and include related funding in my budget proposal. pic.twitter.com/wJvHG6p5Q0
— Governor Dan McKee (@GovDanMcKee) May 18, 2023
Montana court allows abortion by dismemberment
Good news for the right to life did not come from Montana. A District Court temporarily blocked the law, signed by Governor Greg Gianforte, that banned dismemberment abortion in the state. Judge Mike Menaham accepted the allegations of Planned Parenthood's attorneys, noting that "Plaintiffs have established facts, which if proven true, establish that [HB 721] presents a prima facie constitutional violation. Immediate and irreparable harm is also present because of the immediate effective date."
For Denise Harle of Alliance Defending Freedom, "the lengths to which Planned Parenthood is willing to go to protect such a barbaric procedure makes it clear that the abortion industry only cares about its bottom line, not protecting women."
ADF's @deniseharle said Wednesday that "the extreme lengths to which Planned Parenthood is willing to go to protect such a barbaric procedure makes it clear the abortion industry only cares about its bottom line." @thecentersquare #Montana https://t.co/E4zg6DzjZU
— Chris Woodward (@ReporterChrisW) May 18, 2023