On Friday, a South Carolina court halted the state's new legislation banning most abortions beyond six weeks, pending Supreme Court review.
Republican Governor Henry McMaster signed the act Thursday after State Circuit Judge Clifton Newman granted reproductive rights organizations' plea to halt it.
Local media says that the judge's order enables a prior law allowing abortions up to 22 weeks to remain in place until the state's top court reviews the new prohibition.
If the proposal survives judicial challenges, it would stop women from southern states with more stringent abortion laws from going to South Carolina for treatment when the U.S. Supreme judicial revoked federal abortion rights in June 2022.
The state Supreme Court threw down a six-week abortion ban in January because it violated the state constitution's right to privacy.
One of the Supreme Court justices who supported that ruling has retired, making it uncertain how the court would decide on the current proposal.
Republican state senators supporting the plan claimed in parliamentary hearings this week that it corrected the mistakes that led the state Supreme Court to knock down its predecessor.
"I hope that the Supreme Court will take this matter up without delay," McMaster tweeted Friday, pledging to "continue fighting to protect the lives of the unborn."
Planned Parenthood, which fought to stop the bill, praised the judge's decision. "This is good news for the women of SC today," tweeted Vicki Ringer.
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