RICHMOND (United States), May 18 (AP) — South Carolina became the latest state to come close to a blanket ban on abortion on Wednesday, legislation that if enacted would make Virginia an exception in the South, since Roe v. Wade The restrictions have increased rapidly in the year since the case was overturned.
South Carolina is one of the last bastions for those seeking legal abortions in the region, but that status may soon end. A near-total ban on abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy — usually before a woman knows she’s pregnant — is under the bill that must now pass the state Senate. Finally passed.
North Carolina will ban most abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy starting July 1 after the state’s Republican-controlled legislature succeeded late Tuesday in overturning a Democratic governor’s veto.
Abortion is banned or severely restricted in much of the South, including in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia throughout Abortion during pregnancy. In Georgia, this is only allowed for the first six weeks.
Such restrictions were possible because the U.S. Supreme Court last year overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that established a nationwide right to abortion.
Jamie Lockhart, executive director of Virginia Planned Parenthood Advocates, talks about South Carolina’s proposed six-week ban, North Carolina’s 12-week ban, and the six-week ban in Florida only if the state’s Supreme Court upholds the state’s current 15-week ban The ban will come into effect.
But Rep. Sarah Stevens, R-N.C., said she sees the 12-week ban and other restrictions in the new North Carolina law as “safeguards,” not barriers to abortion.
“We’re trying to strike a balance between protecting the unborn baby while keeping the mother safe,” she said on Tuesday.
Lockhart said stricter bans in the South would strengthen Virginia’s role as an access point and have a “knock-on effect” as people travel from out of state to seek medical care.
“Despite efforts by abortion providers to increase available appointments and expand patient access through telehealth, the influx of out-of-state patients will cause people in those visiting states to wait longer,” Lockhart said.
Virginia currently allows abortions in the first and second trimester. Abortions are permitted in the third trimester only when three doctors certify that the mother’s physical and mental health are in serious danger.
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, pushed for a 15-week moratorium during this year’s legislative session, but it was rejected by the narrow Democratic majority in the state Senate.
Victoria Cobb, president of the Virginia Conservative Family Foundation, said Wednesday that the state’s laws have become out of touch with those of its neighbors during years of “liberal influence.”
Cobb said Virginians “will have to work hard to protect our Commonwealth from the exploitation of the abortion industry.”
Ashlyn Preaux, who helps run an abortion fund in South Carolina, said travel costs can add up quickly for women who need to go abroad for an abortion. Her organization helps patients pay for abortion care, as well as gas cards and sometimes airfare.
If South Carolina enacts new restrictions, she hopes to help send more patients to Virginia and Washington, D.C.
“All of these things add up and people just aren’t prepared to deal with it,” Preaux said. “It’s just not really being treated like a health care problem.”
In South Carolina, where abortion remains legal up to 22 weeks, the state was already seeing an increase in out-of-state patients ahead of new restrictions enacted in Florida and North Carolina. Further west, women often travel to Illinois, Kansas, New Mexico or Colorado.
South Carolina reported nearly 1,000 abortions in each of the first three months of this year, up from a total of just over 200 in a month last year after a six-week ban was imposed, provisional data from the state health department show. Nearly half of the patients were reported to be from other states.
North Carolina was considered a safe place until Tuesday, said Dr. Erica Pettigrew, a family physician in Hillsborough. But now, “North Carolinians will be medical refugees from other states,” she said, criticizing provisions of the law that could create more paperwork, as well as additional medical and licensing requirements.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A federal appeals court on Wednesday considered another challenge to abortion access as it heard the debate over whether the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the widely used abortion drug mifepristone should be overturned. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit is reviewing a federal judge’s ruling in Texas that ordered a stay of approval for mifepristone that overturned 20 years of science on the drug. approve. The ruling was set aside while an appeal is pending.
Attorneys seeking to preserve the drug used in the most common abortion method were opposed on Wednesday by appeals judges, each of whom has a history of supporting abortion restrictions. A ruling is not expected immediately.
In Michigan, one of the key states protecting abortion rights since Roe v. Wade was overturned, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Wednesday signed legislation that prohibits companies from firing or otherwise retaliating against workers for abortions.
The legislation amends the state’s civil rights law, which previously prohibited employment discrimination only when the abortion was done “to save the mother’s life.” It will ensure that workers are not discriminated against for receiving abortions, for whatever reason. (Associated Press)
(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the body of content may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)