The Quickie: We'll See You in Court: South Carolina Lawmakers Pass Six-Week Abortion Ban
For Immediate Release: May 24, 2023
Welcome to “The Quickie” — Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s daily tipsheet on the top health care & reproductive rights stories of the day. You can read “The Quickie'' online here.
In today’s Quickie: South Carolina Senate passes amended six-week abortion ban, Montana grants a preliminary injunction to block multiple abortion restrictions, and the truth behind North Carolina’s “reasonable” 12-week abortion ban.
WE’LL SEE YOU IN COURT: SOUTH CAROLINA LAWMAKERS PASS SIX-WEEK ABORTION BAN. Yesterday, the South Carolina Senate passed the House’s amended version of SB474, a bill that will ban abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy — which is before many people know they are pregnant. The bill, which has an immediate effective date, is expected to be signed into law by Gov. McMaster later today. SB474 is even more onerous than the abortion ban struck down by the South Carolina Supreme Court in January.
Beyond stripping people of the right to control their personal medical decisions, the ban also:
- Defines life as beginning with a fertilized egg, which is before it implants in the uterus, or before the medical community considers a person to be pregnant
- Subjects providers to automatic licensing revocation and empowers government actors to bring civil in addition to criminal charges for violations
- Requires the biological father to pay child support and 50% of all pregnancy expenses
Jenny Black, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic previewed abortion providers’ plans to challenge the law saying: “South Carolina lawmakers are playing politics with people’s lives, blocking access to essential health care while ignoring soaring rates of maternal and infant mortality in our state. We will not stand by while politicians put people’s lives in danger and take away fundamental human rights. So we say to the state of South Carolina: We’ll see you in court.”
More at the Washington Post and the Associated Press
MULTIPLE ABORTION RESTRICTIONS BLOCKED IN MONTANA: Yesterday, a Montana District Court judge granted abortion providers’ request for a preliminary injunction to block several restrictions on abortion access. Had these laws been allowed to take effect, abortion access for thousands,particularly Montanans with low incomes, would have been cut off. The blocked restrictions include:
- HB 544 and a rule from the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) that would effectively eliminate abortion access for most Medicaid patients in the state.
- HB 862 which like the federal Hyde Amendment, would prohibit the use of public funds for abortion care in almost all cases.
- HB 721 which bans D&E procedures, the safest and most common method of abortion after approximately 15 weeks of pregnancy
- Annd HB 575 which requires all patients to undergo an ultrasound before getting an abortion, effectively banning direct-to-patient telehealth for medication abortions.
Joint statement from leaders from Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Center for Reproductive Rights, and ACLU of Montana on behalf of All Families Healthcare, Blue Mountain Clinic, and Planned Parenthood of Montana:
“We are grateful that the court recognized the threat that these unconstitutional restrictions pose to patients across Montana and blocked them while the cases proceeded. While this fight is not yet over, we are relieved that Montanans can still access vital, medically necessary, and potentially life-saving reproductive health care services without being unjustly turned away due to their income and insurance status.”
Read more at the Montana Free Press.
THE DANGER OF NORTH CAROLINA’S NEW ABORTION BAN: In a new opinion piece for the Greensboro News & Record, editorial page editor Allen Johnson reflects on the myth of a “reasonable” abortion ban and decries the state legislature’s decision to push harmful restrictions through at record speed. He calls out the many obstacles hidden in the fine-print of this so-called “reasonable” ban, including: banning the most commonly used form of abortion in the state, medication abortion, after 10 weeks; requiring that medication abortions be given in person, and mandating that any abortion after 12 weeks must be performed in a hospital, among many other burdensome requirements. He writes:
“There’s a good reason Republicans preferred to concentrate on the deceptive 12-week window instead of the inconvenient truths about the bill’s fine print: It’s not what the people want. In a Meredith poll in February, 57% of respondents in North Carolina favored keeping the 20-week ban — or expanding it. A more recent poll commissioned by the progressive nonprofit Carolina Forward found that a majority of respondents oppose the bill itself…
“Meanwhile, a party that has built its brand on supporting individual freedoms (guns everywhere all the time) keeps affixing asterisks to the ones it doesn’t approve: the right to read certain books and hear certain class lessons; the right to local governance without incessant meddling from the legislature; the right to be gay or transgender.”
Read more at The Greensboro News & Record.