Planned Parenthood, Pro-Abortion Groups Sue South Carolina Over Heartbeat Bill

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter
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Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights are suing to stop South Carolina’s heartbeat bill, the organizations announced Thursday.

The “South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act” overwhelmingly passed the state’s house Wednesday, according to the Associated Press. Republican South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has promised to sign the bill as soon as he can.

“We’re closer than we’ve ever been to passing into law the most comprehensive pro-life legislation our state has ever seen,” McMaster tweeted in January when the state senate voted to pass the bill. “It’s off to the House of Representatives now, where we have great leaders who I know will fight for life.” (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: SBA Hid Comms With Planned Parenthood Amid GOP Criticism Over PPP Loans)

Planned Parenthood did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation, but announced the lawsuit via tweet Thursday morning.

“At a time when millions are struggling to survive the COVID-19 pandemic, this reckless and irresponsible governing must not stand,” the tweet said. “South Carolinians deserve better.”

“See you in court,” the tweet added. (RELATED: Tennessee Bill Would Give Fathers The Power To Veto Abortions)

The Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act would require testing for a heartbeat before an abortion can be performed on a pregnant woman and would ban abortions if the unborn baby’s heartbeat could be detected. The bill, which allows exceptions in cases of rape and incest, would not punish the mother for getting an illegal abortion but would hold the person who performed the abortion liable.

During a press conference Wednesday, McMaster called the bill “one of the most pro-life in the country. ”

“Many people don’t even know that they are pregnant until after six weeks,” the Center for Reproductive Rights tweeted Thursday. “That effectively makes this legislation a *total* abortion ban for the nearly one million South Carolinians of reproductive age.”

This was the FIRST bill filed in South Carolina’s senate this term,” the organization’s tweet thread continued. “Instead of addressing the deadly #COVID19 pandemic and the urgent need for relief, South Carolina politicians have prioritized passing this unconstitutional abortion ban. We won’t stand for it.” 

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