A South Carolina woman is requesting the state clarify whether the current milestone occurs at six weeks or nine weeks of pregnancy after claims the plantiff was forced to travel out of state for an abortion due to a law banning the procedure after the detection of a “fetal heartbeat.”
In a lawsuit filed in South Carolina’s state circuit court Monday, Taylor Shelton and Planned Parenthood South Atlantic’s chief medical officer Dr. Katherine Farris argued the court should interpret the law to mean nine weeks.
“The entire experience left me angry and quite frankly, traumatized,” Shelton said in a statement. “I want everyone to understand the impact South Carolina’s abortion restrictions and unfair treatment are having on real people, and I hope my story shows how punitive and cruel these abortion bans actually are.”
The lawsuit argues there is vague inconsistency as to whether the state bans abortion at the detection of the earliest embryonic electrical activity, which is typically at six weeks of pregnancy as dated from a patient’s last menstrual period, or at the point when the heart forms, after approximately nine weeks of pregnancy.
Without this clarification, the lawsuit argues that medical providers have been obligated to apply the ban at no later than six weeks.
As a result, Shelton and Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit states she was forced to make three trips to North Carolina with more than 20 hours of driving to obtain care. Abortion is legal until 12 weeks of pregnancy in North Carolina but requires two in-person visits before a patient can receive one.
The South Carolina lawsuits are likely just the latest of several to come as the issue of abortion will undoubtedly be an election year priority. Just this past week, Maine saw its legislature take up the issue internally with Democrats hoping to make the procedure an amended right to the constitution.
The Biden campaign is counting on the abortion issue to drive voter turnout heading into the 2024 election cycle. “A vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris is a vote to restore Roe, and a vote for Donald Trump is a vote to ban abortion across the country,” said Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Biden’s campaign manager. “These are the stakes in 2024.”
© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.