Planned Parenthood sues to expand South Carolina abortion access under strict new ban

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Abortion providers in South Carolina want to lengthen the narrow window when they can legally terminate a pregnancy under a strict new ban. The conservative state’s all-male Supreme Court last month upheld a so-called “fetal heartbeat” law commonly understood to restrict access after about six weeks of pregnancy. But the court noted that the Legislature’s medical definitions gave unclear directions to doctors determining when they can provide an abortion. In a complaint filed Thursday, Planned Parenthood lawyers wrote that the ban should be interpreted to take effect around nine weeks under the statute’s language. They say that’s when most of the main pieces of the heart have developed.