- A South Carolina judge temporarily halted a law banning most abortions after six weeks.
- The legislation was passed in the state Senate with the support of 27 men.
- Five female lawmakers, named the “Sister Senators,” previously filibustered a similar abortion ban.
South Carolina’s governor signed a bill into law that would ban most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. One day later, a judge temporarily halted it.
The “Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act” was passed in the state’s Senate with the support of 27 men, per The Daily Beast.
After fierce debate over the ban, the “Sister Senators, five female state senators – – including three Republicans – blocking the state from passing a near-total ban on abortions, all voted against it.
The law, signed on Thursday, bans most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, except in cases of “rape or incest during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy, medical emergencies, or fatal fetal anomalies.”
But the state has temporarily reverted to its previous law, which bans abortions after 22 weeks, per the BBC.
There have been months of heated debates in the South Carolina Senate on the issue, and the five women lawmakers had already filibustered an attempt in April to a near-total ban on abortion in the state.
Even though the law is halted for now, Sen. Sandy Senn — one of the Republican lawmakers who voted against the bill — told Insider in an email that the past two weeks had been “rough and tough.”
“We will regroup and try and fix this mess,” Senn said.
Another lawmaker, Sen. Penry Gustafson, changed her mind about her stance on the six-week ban — which she voted for in February — a version of the bill that also failed to pass.
“Funny thing, when you learn and gather facts over time, sometimes your perspective evolves,” Gustafson recently told The Daily Beast.
While she does support some restrictions on abortion, “I’ve heard from too many women that six weeks is not long enough,” Gustafson said.
Katrina Shealy, another Republican state senator, tried to introduce an amendment to the latest legislation that said abortion care should instead be banned after 12 weeks.
“Men are 100 percent responsible for pregnancies,” she said while introducing the amendment, per the Daily Beast. “Men are fertile 100 percent of the time. So it is time for men in this chamber — and the ones across that hall and all across the state of South Carolina — to take some ejaculation responsibility.”
Despite protests from the women, the amendment was voted down.
The newly proposed law comes after a slew of abortion bans across the US followed the overturning of Roe v. Wade last year. Earlier this year, South Carolina proposed the death penalty for women who get abortions, Insider previously reported.
Vicki Ringer, the director of public affairs for Planned Parenthood South Atlantic in South Carolina, called the signing of the bill “unconscionable” on Twitter.
Earlier in the week, she wrote, “Twenty-seven Republican men (all of them) voted today to ban abortion in SC. I’m gutted. Because women will die. Full stop.”