Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

S.C. Republican male senators on Monday voted 27-19 to pass legislation banning abortions past six weeks of pregnancy — before most women know they are pregnant. Three GOP women senators and all Democrats opposed the bill. The bill now heads to the governor, who has previously said he would sign it.

The proposal essentially restores a 2021 ban that took effect after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year. That ban was overturned earlier this year by the state Supreme Court after it ruled it violated the S.C. Constitution’s right to privacy, leaving abortion legal through 22 weeks of pregnancy. Other Southern states enacted stricter laws. 

Abortion rights advocates are expected to promptly challenge the constitutionality of the bill, but Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey said he is confident the law would stand. 

“It has been a long and bumpy road but it was an important debate to have,” Massey said in an Associated Press report. “I’m glad we finally got a resolution on it. It’s something that’s going to make South Carolina not the abortion destination state of the Southeast, and I think that’s important.”

Republican Sen. Sandy Senn denounced new clauses added to the bill that allow civil lawsuits against doctors who violate the ban and mandate that patients sign additional forms saying they had the chance to view an ultrasound prior to getting an abortion. Senn called the latter requirement an intimidation tactic that is “piling up the paperwork on women.”

Any challenge that reaches the S.C. Supreme Court would face a new bench, as the lone woman who authored the leading opinion in the abortion case has retired.

In other headlines:

CP NEWS: Celebration of life for Charleston chief of police to be held May 30. Charleston Police Chief Luther Reynolds, 56, succumbed Monday to cancer at an area hospice facility with his family by his side. A public visitation period will be May 28 in West Ashley, followed by a celebration of life service May 30 in Mount Pleasant.

Source of mysterious ‘boom’ in Charleston area yesterday morning still unknown. People from James Island up through West Ashley and into downtown, Mount Pleasant and even Goose Creek reported hearing a booming noise, and in some cases feeling vibrations, around 8:45 a.m. on May 23.

Charleston County schools delay vote on budget. The Charleston County School Board delayed a vote on the district’s 2023-24 budget after members said they needed more information.

Port of Charleston’s post-pandemic import slide continues. The post-pandemic trend of declining imports and overall cargo volumes at the Port of Charleston continued in April. Retail experts warn the drop is likely to continue through the year at U.S. ports.

McMaster’s office responds to backlash after ‘hunt them with dogs’ comment. The Anderson County S.C. Democratic Party is calling for the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division to investigate S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster after a controversial statement that Republicans have called a joke. 

Striking gap between deaths of Black, white babies plagues the South. Infant mortality rate is higher in the South than any other region in the country, and the gap between death rates of Black and white babies is vast, according to a new study by the Journal of the American Medical Association.

  • To get dozens of South Carolina news stories every business day, contact the folks at SC Clips.

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