Lawmakers in the U.S. state of South Carolina on Tuesday, May 23, have approved a ban on most abortions performed about six weeks after fetal cardiac activity begins.
The bill is anticipated to receive approval from the state's Republican governor, Henry McMaster, before becoming law. However, it is expected to encounter legal challenges.
The South Carolina vote predominantly aligned with party affiliations, with opposition arising from five women in the state senate, three Republicans, one Democrat and one independent.
“What we are doing today is not going to do away with illegal abortions - it is going to cause illegal abortions,” female Republican state Senator Sandy Senn said.
Following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn countrywide abortion rights last year, the majority of southern states in the U.S. have limited access to abortion.
Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Kentucky are the strictest, banning abortions throughout pregnancy. In Georgia, it is only allowed for the first six weeks.
South Carolina currently allows abortions through the first 22 weeks of pregnancy, one of the most permissive abortion laws in the region.
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