COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH) — A state judge has granted a temporary freeze on a controversial and restrictive six-week abortion ban until the state's Supreme Court can review it, less than one day after it was originally signed into law.
Abortion advocates and pro-life advocates were back in court in Richland County for an injunction to the controversial bill.
A Richland County courtroom was packed on Friday, as representatives from pro-abortion and anti-abortion groups argued their case over a new abortion bill signed into law by Gov. Henry McMaster on Thursday.
Just hours after McMaster signed into law a six-week abortion ban, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic and several other groups filed a lawsuit challenging the bill. They also requested an injunction to put the law on hold while litigation goes on.
McMaster and state legislators backing the newly signed bill have also submitted a request to allow McMaster to intervene in the trial, something that he's successfully filed for three other times despite backlash from his opposition.
To many, Friday's hearing was a repeat of late 2022, when a lawsuit was filed by the same groups against a restrictive abortion ban signed into law by McMaster in 2021. That law was overturned in January of 2023 by the state Supreme Court.
While the 2021 law and the 2023 law were both similar in its writing, Abortion supporters are hoping that the recent Supreme Court decision will be a key tool to help overturn this new piece of legislation.
After the ruling, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic celebrated Judge Newman's decision.
"Abortion is again legal in South Carolina," the group said in a statement on Twitter.