He South Carolina Senate voted Tuesday in favor of ban abortion after six weeks pregnant, despite an attempt to block initiative by five female senators, including three Republicans.
The law will now go to the office of the governor of this southern US state, who has said he will sign it. This would make South Carolina the latest state to limit abortion since the Supreme Court struck down the federal right to the procedure last year.
Since that decision was issued, a total of 24 states have passed or attempted to pass restrictions.
At week six, many women don’t know they are pregnant. Even if they did know, many abortion clinics have waiting lists that go on for weeks, which would make the law a de facto outright ban, critics say.
State Senate Republicans tried multiple times to pass the bill, but were opposed by five women, including Republicans, who pushed for lighter restrictions.
However, the corporation finally got enough votes after the lower house approved the measure.
A six-week ban in South Carolina has already been struck down by the state Supreme Court.
By not banning abortion, conservative South Carolina – surrounded by several states that restrict it – had become an unexpected haven for women from the South seeking abortions.
South Carolina has become the abortion capital of the Southeast,” said state Senator Shane Massey.
Abortion advocates lamented that the state loses that atypical status.
This is a devastating blow to the women of South Carolina and to an entire region where patients’ options for accessing abortion continue to dwindle,” said Alexis McGill Johnson, president of Planned Parenthood.
McGill Johnson added that the organization is prepared to challenge the law in court.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said on Twitter that he “looks forward to signing this bill into law as soon as possible.”
With information from AFP