COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has signed legislation outlawing most abortions at 20 weeks beyond fertilization.
The law took effect Wednesday with the Republican governor’s signature. The only exceptions are if the mother’s life is in jeopardy or a doctor determines the fetus can’t survive outside the womb.
These bans are now in effect in 13 states and blocked by court challenges in three other. South Dakota’s ban takes effect July 1.
Under the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling establishing a nationwide right to abortion, states were permitted to restrict abortions after viability. But the ruling offered no legal definition for viability, saying it could range between 24 and 28 weeks into a pregnancy. The high court has yet to rule on the 20-week bans.
On Thursday, attorney and constitutional law professor, Debra Gammons, spoke with News 2 about the law’s chances of being upheld if it goes to Supreme Court.
She says that it could be ruled unconstitutional if it is creates an undue burden, or an obstacle standing in the way of a woman seeking an abortion.
The law may only be reviewed by the Supreme Court if the challenger has reasonable standing, a term meaning they are directly affected. So far there have been no challenges.