Judge allows later abortions to continue in neighboring South Carolina

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

A South Carolina judge on Friday put that state’s new abortion law on hold during the court process, allowing legal abortions up to about 22 weeks.

That means Georgians seeking an abortion beyond what’s legally allowed in Georgia will still be able to get the procedure in South Carolina if they have the means and ability to travel.

Georgia law bans most abortions once a doctor can detect fetal cardiac activity, which is typically about six weeks into a pregnancy and before many know they are pregnant.

A South Carolina circuit court judge put the hold on that state’s abortion law, saying from the bench that the “status quo” should remain in place while the state’s Supreme Court reviews the case, The Associated Press reported.

South Carolina this week became the last of the states surrounding Georgia that had less restrictive abortion laws. Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit challenging South Carolina’s law within an hour of the bill being signed Thursday.

With in the past six weeks, South Carolina, Florida and North Carolina have enacted laws that are similar to Georgia’s statute. Abortion is banned at all stages of pregnancy in Alabama and Tennessee.

After Georgia’s law took effect in July, people seeking later abortions who have the means have gone to nearby states such as South Carolina to get the procedure. Others seeking abortions have traveled to Virginia, the next closest state that allows the procedure up until about 27 weeks of pregnancy.