COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) — U.S. District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis has extended the Temporary Restraining Order blocking a law that would ban most abortions in South Carolina when a ‘fetal heartbeat’ is detected.
This move was expected. Last month, Judge Lewis told attorneys in court she would renew the order until another hearing could be held.
According to court documents, the temporary block stops the SC Fetal Heartbeat Protection from Abortion Act from being enforced for the next 14 days. The original order issued last month was set to expire at 11:59 p.m. Friday.
The “South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act ” requires doctors to use an ultrasound to try to detect a fetal heartbeat if they think pregnant women are at least eight weeks along. If they find a heartbeat, and the pregnancy is not the result of rape or incest, they can’t perform the abortion unless the mother’s life is in danger.
The near total abortion ban was blocked one day after Governor Henry McMaster signed it into law.
According to court documents, a hearing on whether Judge Lewis will issue a Preliminary Injunction has been scheduled for Monday, March 8th.
The state can appeal the ruling if the judge issues the injunction.