The Senate of the US state of South Carolina, with a Republican majority, gave its support on Tuesday to a bill to ban abortion from the sixth week of pregnancy, when many women still do not know they are pregnant. Governor Henry McMaster is expected to ratify the measure soon.
It is not the first time that South Carolina has tried to restrict access to abortion: in January, the state Supreme Court struck down a law similar to the one passed this Tuesday, arguing that it went against the right to privacy protected by the state Constitution .
However, the judge who led that decision withdrew shortly after, and was replaced by a man who has the support of the most radical wing of the Republican Party, reports The Hill.
On the other hand, the state Senate itself rejected at the end of April another bill that would have prohibited all abortions except in cases of rape or incest, and that had been promoted by the more conservative South Carolina House of Representatives.
Until now, abortion was legal in the state up to the 22nd week of pregnancy, but its access was limited by a lack of abortion clinics (according to The Hill, there are only three operating).
The measure is the latest in a series of abortion restrictions passed in Republican-ruled states, after the US Supreme Court last summer struck down constitutional protections for medical termination of pregnancy.
North Carolina recently approved a more moderate ban on abortion, after 12 weeks of pregnancy, which its promoters see as a model to follow in view of the poor results of the Republicans in the November midterm elections, in the that abortion was one of the main campaign issues.