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Recently, the states of South Carolina and Indiana upheld their laws restricting abortions after months of legal challenges. In both cases, the challenge to their constitutionality was dismissed.
South Carolina’s Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act (S.474) was passed in late May of 2023, but Planned Parenthood challenged this in court soon after. During this time, the abortion restrictions were frozen and did not take effect. The Act “prohibits abortions after a fetal heartbeat has been detected, with exceptions for the life or health of the mother, medical emergencies, fatal fetal anomalies, and, up to twelve weeks of pregnancy, in cases of rape or incest.” The court ruled that the Act was constitutional and will go into immediate effect.
Indiana was the first state to begin implementing abortion restrictions after Roe was overturned. Its proposed law, SB 1, was similar to that of South Carolina: abortions were prohibited upon detecting the fetal heartbeat, with rape and incest exceptions going up to ten weeks (and no requirement for a written statement attesting to an attack). There are also exceptions for abortions for the life and health of the mother. The Indiana Supreme Court rejected a request for rehearing from the ACLU, and the law will soon go into effect.
In both cases, the abortion restrictions do not legally prevent women from accessing healthcare for miscarriage treatment or other complications. In the wake of pro-choice doctors refusing to treat women for obstetric complications in pro-life states, it is important that patients inform themselves on how to advocate for themselves and how to report medical malpractice.