Abortion providers filed a new lawsuit Thursday challenging the state’s six-week abortion ban just three weeks after the all-male state Supreme Court upheld the law signed by the governor in May.

They are asking the court to answer an essential question: When, exactly, does South Carolina ban abortion?

Part of the confusion about when the ban starts, the lawsuit says, stems from the definition of fetal heartbeat included in the law, which is described as “cardiac activity, or the steady and repetitive rhythmic contraction of the fetal heart, within the gestational sac.” Cardiac activity can occur as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, but is mostly formed around nine weeks, according to Planned Parenthood. 

Attorneys for Planned Parenthood added that the ban should be interpreted to take effect after approximately nine weeks under the statute’s language, because that’s when most of the main parts of the eventual heart have developed. 

In City Paper news:

CP OPINION: Public bodies should stop holding executive sessions.  “Consider this: State law does not actually require public bodies to ever hold executive or private sessions for public business. It offers very narrow exceptions that allow public officials to meet privately — for things like contract negotiations or land deals.”


CP NEWS: Forever chemicals in Charleston drinking water above proposed safe standard. More than 5,000 plaintiffs have filed forever chemical-related lawsuits. Forever chemicals are technically known as PFAs, or “per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances” that can stick around in water. And in Charleston, it most definitely stuck around.

CP NEWS: Surprise Charleston board meeting was illegal, attorney says. A Monday night special meeting of the Charleston County School District’s Board of Trustees, leaving many community members confused and angry. S.C. Press Association attorney Jay Bender said the surprise meeting was illegal, as state law says the purpose of a closed session must be specific and must indicate what it relates to.

CP NEWS: Folly Beach celebrates 50 years as a city. The city of Folly Beach will celebrate its 50th anniversary Sept. 22 to Oct. 1 with a series of fun community events, including a 1920s-themed black tie gala, an outdoor car show and more.

CP ARTS: A peek at some of Charleston’s newest arts programming this season. The lineup of the arts calendar shows Charleston artists are, like the fall season, handling great nuance with theater performances, art exhibits and more.

CP MUSIC: Brewer brings ‘American Band’ back to Charleston. On Sept. 23, Don Brewer will bring the band he’s best known for — Grand Funk Railroad — back to Charleston for an intimate performance at the Riviera Theater on King Street.

CP MUSIC: Music act Psycodelics bring soul funk alchemy to Charleston. Charleston act The Psycodelics brews a potent funk rock distilled with disco, jazz and blues, saturated by dancing bass lines, boom-bap grooves and lush harmonies. The band will play their first hometown show in almost a year on Sept. 22 at the Charleston Pour House.

CP FOOD: New regional spirits competition kicks off November. Matti Antilla, founder of Charleston’s Grain & Barrel Spirits, is launching South’s Best, the first regional spirits competition for spirit brands produced in the South, which he defines as 17 states, from Delaware to Texas, including Washington D.C.

CP FOOD: Prohibition bar celebrates 10 years. Owners James Walsh and Jim McCourt, two Irish natives, created Prohibition to pay homage to the history they saw all around them in Charleston.

In other news: 

Murdaugh back in front of the judge who sentenced him. S.C. Circuit Court Judge Clifton Newman set a November state trial date for convicted murderer Alex Murdaugh to face fraud charges of stealing millions from the family of his late housekeeper.

Firearms allowed at Charleston County parks after legal battle. Gun owners with concealed weapon permits can bring firearms into any Charleston County-run park after a lawsuit successfully challenged the prohibition on 11,000 acres of public land.

Mount Pleasant adopts new rules for bikes on sidewalks. New rules for bicycles and electric bikes were adopted in Mount Pleasant, after a small dog being walked on a sidewalk alongside the Johnnie Dodds Boulevard service road was reportedly struck and killed by two 12-year-old boys sharing an e-bike.

Millions awarded to Lowcountry groups that help crime victims. Over $10 million of the funding will go towards 32 organizations in Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester, Georgetown, Hampton and Horry Counties to help fund things like victim advocacy, evidence-based therapy, specialized law enforcement investigators, transitional housing for victims, forensic interviews, residential shelters, forensic nurse examiners and more.

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

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