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South Carolina governor signs heartbeat abortion ban, but Planned Parenthood is involved in a legal challenge

Joshua Boucher/The State/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, a Republican, has signed a measure that largely prohibits performing abortions if the unborn baby's fetal heartbeat has been detected.

The measure stipulates that abortions would be permitted to protect the mother's life and health or if there is a "fatal fetal anomaly." Abortions would also be permitted if the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest and the likely gestational age of the child is not greater than 12 weeks.

"With my signature, the Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act is now law and will begin saving the lives of unborn children immediately," McMaster said, according to a press release. "This is a great day for life in South Carolina, but the fight is not over. We stand ready to defend this legislation against any challenges and are confident we will succeed. The right to life must be preserved, and we will do everything we can to protect it."

The state Supreme Court had struck down a prior abortion ban earlier this year.

And now the newly approved pro-life law is facing a legal challenge.

"Today, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, Greenville Women’s Clinic, and two physician-plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in state court seeking to block Senate Bill 474, South Carolina's newly-enacted ban on abortion after approximately six weeks of pregnancy," according a Planned Parenthood press release. "Today’s challenge comes just over four months after the South Carolina Supreme Court permanently struck down a nearly identical law, ruling that it violated the state constitution."

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