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  • Winthrop University's new poll shows a lot of harmony and a lot of party-line differences on the issues of abortion, politics, religion, and the Confederacy in 11 southern states.
  • This week lawmakers will consider outlawing nearly all abortions even as the South Carolina Supreme Court temporarily halts a six week ban.
  • The debate over a limited set of circumstances in which abortion could be legal is causing divisions among Republican lawmakers in some states. The spark is the U.S. Supreme Court decision rejecting a right to abortion and returning the issue to states to determine. In Wisconsin, GOP state lawmakers are at odds over whether to reinforce an exception for a mother's life and add protections for instances involving rape and incest. In Indiana, Republicans passed a near-total ban on abortion, with exceptions for rape and incest included after some Republicans joined with all Democrats. Some experts say the inconsistency among Republicans underscores the new debate within the GOP.
  • The South Carolina "fetal heartbeat" law banning abortion around six weeks is no longer in effect after the state Supreme Court on Wednesday temporarily blocked it. For now, South Carolinians can access abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy. In its order granting a preliminary injunction, the court said "at this preliminary stage, we are unable to determine with finality the constitutionality of the Act under our state's constitutional prohibition against unreasonable invasions of privacy." Meanwhile, lawmakers are considering additional restrictions. On Wednesday, the Senate Medical Affairs Committee held public testimony as they consider language for another proposal. On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee advanced a near-total abortion ban with no restrictions for rape or incest.
  • Some South Carolina lawmakers who oppose abortion are being cautious when it comes to tightening the state's already restrictive laws even further. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, paving the way for states to enact total bans if they choose to do so. South Carolina currently has a law banning abortion after cardiac activity is detected, at about six weeks of pregnancy. Lawmakers called a special session after the high court's decision in June to discuss the issue. But some are hesitating after seeing voters in conservative Kansas overwhelmingly reject a measure that would allow the legislature to tighten restrictions or enact a total ban.
  • South Carolina can continue enforcing its six-week abortion ban after a state judge on Tuesday denied a request to temporarily block it amid a legal battle that is now headed to the state Supreme Court. Planned Parenthood South Atlantic had asked the judge for an injunction while their lawsuit challenging the ban moved through the courts. The lawsuit argues that the law violates the state constitution's rights to privacy and equal protection. Circuit Court Judge Casey Manning on Tuesday transferred the case to the Supreme Court, saying the case raised the "most fundamentally important constitutional issue" he has seen. He said Planned Parenthood could seek an injunction from that court.
  • Laws banning most abortions at the point of the "first detectable heartbeat"are beginning to take effect following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn the nearly 50-year-old Roe v. Wade decision. Court actions in states including Ohio, South Carolina and Tennessee have revived laws stalled under Roe and left some abortion seekers and clinics scrambling. Generally, abortion is still legal in states under such laws until six to eight weeks into pregnancy. Clinics, abortion rights and some faith groups are mobilizing to help women beyond that point get abortions elsewhere. Some abortion foes also are providing family-related resources online.
  • Abortion bans are temporarily blocked in Louisiana and Utah, while a federal court in South Carolina says a law sharply restricting the procedure can take effect there immediately. The decisions emerged as the battle over whether women may end pregnancies shifted from the nation's highest court to courthouses around the country. The U.S. Supreme Court's decision Friday to end constitutional protection for abortion opened the gates for a wave of litigation.
  • June 25, 2022 — Reaction from prominent South Carolina lawmakers to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling striking down Roe v. Wade; the latest on the bipartisan gun violence recently passed by Congress; reporting on the Palmetto State's new medical ethics law; and more.