Well, it happened. After I’m sure seconds of soul-searching, Governor Nikki Haley has signed a law that bans abortions after 20 weeks. The law takes effect immediately.
The new law provides no exceptions for rape or incest, and only permits abortion in the case of potentially fatal consequences for the fetus or the mother. At 20 weeks, the fetus is about ten inches long, and cannot survive outside of its mother. As of yet, there is no consensus as to when the fetus is capable of feeling pain. Research suggests that the fetus cannot feel pain until the 29th week, though more conservative estimates place the gestational age closer to 26 weeks.
However, the 20 week line is just a starting position for opponents to abortion. In absence of a conservative majority to overturn Roe v. Wade, extremist lawmakers will continue to chip away at the window in which women are constitutionally permitted to obtain an abortion. They will not give up, and neither should we.
Be sure to thank those legislators who have worked to defend the constitutional rights of women. Remind them that despite our disappointment with recent events, we are extremely grateful for their support, and hope they will continue to support us in the future.
And thank you for everything that you do. Every donation, every letter to a member of congress, every afternoon you give up to stand with us on the State House steps, they mean a lot to us, and to all the women of South Carolina.