The South Carolina state legislature has become the latest to pass a ban on abortion after six weeks in the United States, with lawmakers overwhelmingly backing the measure.
Elected officials in the state senate of South Carolina passed a bill banning abortion after around six weeks, reports on Wednesday have said, passing the measure by a margin of 27-19 after the state house passed the amended bill last week.
With the bill expected to be signed by the state’s Republican governor, Henry McMaster, in the near future, South Carolina looks likely to join a wide swathe of states that have clamped down on the killing of unborn children after the repeal of Roe v. Wade.
According to a report by Reuters, the ban was passed with overwhelming support from Republican politicians, with the legislation making most abortions after the beginning of a foetal heartbeat illegal, which takes around six weeks to occur.
Exceptions are made in the legislation for cases involving rape, incest, as well as medical emergencies, in which case abortions up to 12 weeks would be permitted.
Speaking on the bill, State Senator Shane Massey praised the bill as bringing South Carolina more in line with its neighbouring states, decrying the fact that South Carolina had previously served as the “abortion capital of the Southeast”.
Major abortion provider Planned Parenthood vowed to challenge the ban in court, though Massey said that lawmakers had managed to clear legal roadblocks for the bill revolving around the state constitutional right to privacy.
If implemented, the bill will reverse the state’s previous 22-week limit on abortions, one of the most permissive in the southern region of the United States.