South Carolina's law banning abortions at six weeks after a woman's last menstrual cycle can go into effect, a U.S. district judge has ruled, according to The Associated Press, and the state's attorney general has declared it to be so.
"Once Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court, the decision on legally protecting the lives of unborn babies was returned to the states, so there was no longer any basis for blocking South Carolina's heartbeat law," Attorney General Alan Wilson said in a statement, according to The New York Times.
"We've spent nearly a year and a half defending the Fetal Heartbeat Act in court. Finally, it has gone into effect in South Carolina," Gov. Henry McMaster tweeted. "This is why Friday's U.S. Supreme Court decision is so important – countless unborn children will be saved because of this law."
Abortions had been legal in South Carolina up to 20 weeks after fertilization. The state's "fetal heartbeat law," so named because that is when fetal cardiac activity can first be detected, includes exceptions for rape, incest, the woman's health being at serious risk and in cases of fatal fetal anomaly.
The rape and incest exemptions apply at less than 20 weeks of pregnancy.
South Carolina passed the law in 2021, but it was blocked by a federal court.
The law also "requires the mother to view an ultrasound, hear the heartbeat and receive additional information about the child's development," according to WIS-TV.
The law had been blocked, like many other state laws, by federal injunction because of the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion nationwide. But with Friday's high court ruling overturning Roe, the issue of abortion has been returned to the states.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.