Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

A state court will consider a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction Tuesday in Columbia in a case against South Carolina’s six-week abortion ban which went into effect after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade protections last month. A hearing is set for 10 a.m. Tuesday in Richland County Circuit Court.

Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, which filed the lawsuit with three other plaintiffs, said there may be a ruling as early as next week by S.C. Circuit Judge Casey Manning, who has been on the bench since 1994.  

“It’s definitely a big moment,” a Planned Parenthood spokesman said Friday.

The lawsuit claims that the ban violated a state constitutional right to privacy and equal protection. It also claims the law provides “inadequate protections for patients’ health, and by conditioning sexual assault survivors’ access to abortion on the disclosure of their personal information to law enforcement.”

Meanwhile Tuesday, a special S.C. House committee voted 9-3 on an even stricter abortion ban. It voted on a proposal being pushed by religious conservatives to ban almost all abortions except when the life of the mother is at risk. The new proposal does not include incest or rape as exceptions, according to the Associated Press. According to one published report, “Under the proposal, anyone who provides or pays for an abortion that’s not a medical emergency — whether surgically or through medication — can be fined $10,000 and sent to prison for up to two years. Doctors could also lose their medical license.”  

In other headlines: 

House panel presents evidence of Trump’s refusal to stop the riot. In a blockbuster hearing televised nationally Thursday night, the special U.S. House committee looking into the Capitol insurrection of Jan. 6, 2021, painted a picture of former President Donald Trump’s refusal to stop the riot. The House Panel claimed that the former president chose not to act, and refused to do so until after the riots had subsided. The session was also an appeal to patriotism in which leaders and witnesses used the time on national television to outline how they thought the former president had broken his oath of office. Other takeaways from Thursday’s hearing include agents protecting former Vice President Mike Pence say they feared for their lives, the National Guard’s timing in response and a criminal inquiry into missing texts. 

Pence pushes for tougher abortion laws in Florence stop. Former Vice President Mike Pence urged tougher abortion laws in a Wednesday speech at a Florence church. Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the landmark abortion protection case, Roe v. Wade. Pence, long a defender of former President Donald Trump, has increasingly distanced himself after the Jan. 6 riot and as the 2024 presidential election season approaches.

U.S. Senate confirms Childs for federal appellate court. U.S. District Judge Michelle Childs of South Carolina, who was on President Biden’s short list to be appointed to the Supreme Court, was confirmed to sit on a powerful federal appellate court by the U.S. Senate Tuesday. The vote was 64-34.

Covid-19 vaccinations not required for 2022-23 school year in S.C. The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control has updated its required vaccinations for students across the state, including additional chickenpox, polio and hepatitis A vaccines. The new rules do not require the Covid-19 vaccine. However, it is still highly recommended by the Center for Disease Control to get one. Meanwhile, state health officials this week reported 13 deaths and 13,722 new cases of Covid over the previous week, an increase of more than 500 new cases from the previous week. Meanwhile, The State newspaper reports Covid cases are rising among young S.C. children. 

Lucas joins Prisma Health as government liaison. Former S.C. House Speaker Jay Lucas is the new chief government liaison for Prisma Health, the state’s largest health care provider. The announcement comes three weeks after Lucas resigned from his seat in the House, a seat he’s held for 24 years.

Haley teases about presidential bid in N.C. event. Former Gov. Nikki Haley on Monday said “sometimes it takes a woman” in a question related to whether she would shred a deal with Iran if she were president.

Graham’s grand jury appearance heads back to Georgia. While lawyers were set this week to hear the case of whether U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina should appear in front of a grand jury investigating 2020 election shenanigans, the case suddenly this week moved back to Georgia. The agreement reportedly includes wording for Graham to appear in Atlanta, but preserve his legal challenge to a subpoena.

Ex-lawyer pleads not guilty in murder case. Disbarred lawyer Alex Murdaugh pleaded not guilty Thursday in murders of his wife and son — crimes that have captivated the nation. Defense lawyers and prosecutors agreed to keep the evidence secret. His lawyers also pushed for a speedy trial because they said he feels the killer or killers are still at loose, according to this story. mmit wire fraud and bank fraud, bank fraud, wire fraud, and misapplication of bank funds.

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