COLUMBIA, S.C. — Henry McMaster, the Republican governor of South Carolina, on Thursday signed into law one of the most restrictive abortion policies in the country.
The bill requires doctors to perform ultrasounds to check for a heartbeat in the fetus. If one is detected, the abortion can only be performed if the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest, if there is a fetal anomaly, or if the mother’s life is in danger.
The bill would not punish a pregnant woman for getting an illegal abortion, but the person who performed the abortion could be charged with a felony, sentenced up to two years and fined $10,000 if found guilty.
“Ladies and gentlemen, this step we take today was long in coming and monumental in consequence. But our battles are not over,” McMaster said. “Yet I believe that the dawn of victory is upon us.”
Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit and promised to fight the law all the way to the US Supreme Court. South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said he’s ready for a court battle. “My office will vigorously defend this law in court because there is nothing more important than protecting life,” he said.