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February 19, 2021 – Today, a federal district court announced that it will temporarily block a law passed yesterday in South Carolina that bans abortion before many people know they’re pregnant. The law took effect yesterday after Gov. Henry McMaster signed it into law. If this abortion ban had been allowed to stay in effect, abortion would have essentially been banned for nearly 1 million South Carolinians of reproductive age. The emergency lawsuit was filed by Planned Parenthood South Atlantic and Greenville Women’s Clinic, represented by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and the law firm Burnette Shutt & McDaniel.
This ban is the latest in a worrisome trend of state politicians passing extreme legislation like abortion bans aimed at eliminating abortion access and overturning the constitutional right to abortion established by Roe v. Wade. In fewer than two months, state politicians have introduced abortion bans and medically unnecessary restrictions at a staggering pace — more than 200 bills and counting to restrict or ban abortion, with more than 40% seeking to ban abortion at various points of pregnancy.
Statement from Nancy Northup, president and CEO at the Center for Reproductive Rights:
“We are relieved but not surprised that the court will block this law. This ban is blatantly unconstitutional. It’s a clear attempt to end abortion access not just in South Carolina but nationwide. Lawmakers are trying to send cases to the Supreme Court that will allow the justices to overturn Roe v. Wade. This attack on Roe is not slowing down — there are many similar bans moving through state legislatures at this very moment.”
Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO at Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“This court ruling will offer a temporary moment of relief for South Carolinians. But make no mistake: Politicians across the country have made it clear they won’t stop until abortion access is completely out of reach. Since Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed to the Supreme Court, we are seeing an onslaught of attacks, with abortion bans pending in 30 states. The fight to preserve what little abortion access is left intensifies by the day. Planned Parenthood and our partners will not back down. Every person deserves access to safe, legal abortion — regardless of who you are, how much you earn, or where you live.”
Statement from Jenny Black, president and CEO at Planned Parenthood South Atlantic:
“Today, abortion remains safe and legal in South Carolina, and politicians’ plan to restrict access to health care has failed. Gov. McMaster: South Carolinians need a COVID-19 plan, not an abortion ban. Our patients deserve more from their elected leaders. As a leading provider of reproductive health care in the state, including abortion, our doors are open to the South Carolinians who depend on us every day. We will never stop fighting on behalf of our patients.”