COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) – A federal judge has granted a preliminary injunction blocking South Carolina’s near total abortion ban.
According to court documents, U.S. Judge Mary Geiger Lewis granted the injunction Friday morning. She had temporarily blocked the near total abortion ban on February 18th after abortion providers in the state filed a federal lawsuit.
That temporary block took effect one day after the legislation was signed into law.
The SC Fetal Heartbeat Protection from Abortion Act would stop most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected. Most doctors have said this happens about 6 to 8 weeks into a pregnancy.
This preliminary injunction is a more permanent block of the ban and sets up more legal battles surrounding the law. This ruling could be appealed by the state.
Judge Geiger Lewis wrote in her order, “It is nothing short of baffling when Defendants here make the fanciful, misbegotten and misguided argument that the Act is constitutional, although surely, all the while knowing full well that is is not.”
The state argued in court that the new Supreme Court would rule in their favor if the case made it there.
In her 22-page order, Judge Geiger Lewis wrote, “The case does not present a close call.” She wrote she does not expect another court to rule differently.
The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office said in a statement following the ruling, “It is the constitutional duty of this office to defend in court any law enacted by the General Assembly.”
When asked if they would appeal — a spokesperson said, “We’re studying all our options.”
We have reached out to the Governor’s Office for comment.
You can read the full order below.