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South Carolina governor signs bill prohibiting most abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected

February 18, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 56%. 1 min read.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster signs into law a bill banning almost all abortions in the state Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021, in Columbia, S.C. On the same day, Planned Parenthood filed a federal lawsuit to stop the measure from going into effect. The state House approved the ???South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act??? on a 79-35 vote Wednesday and gave it a final procedural vote Thursday before sending it to McMaster.?? (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster on Thursday signed a bill prohibiting an abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detected during an ultrasound with very few exceptions, becoming the latest Republican to sign a so-called heartbeat bill.

(CNN)South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster on Thursday signed a bill prohibiting an abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detected during an ultrasound with very few exceptions, becoming the latest Republican to sign a so-called heartbeat bill.

It's a happy day," the Republican said during a packed event at the state Capitol.

The South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act states that a doctor must perform an ultrasound on a person seeking an abortion to determine if there is a fetal heartbeat.

If a heartbeat is found, a doctor cannot perform an abortion unless the physician believes it is a medical emergency, the pregnancy is the result of a rape or incest or there is a fetal anomaly, the bill says.

Abortion rights advocates have already expressed opposition to the measure.

Before it was signed by McMaster, Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights challenged the measure Thursday on behalf of several South Carolina abortion providers, asking a federal judge to block the law.

"South Carolina politicians just used an abortion ban to target and re-victimize sexual assault survivors — all while the pandemic rages on," Planned Parenthood President and CEO Alexis McGill Johnson said in a statement Thursday.

"This step we take today was long in coming and monumental in consequence," McMaster said, asking, "If there's not a right to life, then what life is there?

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