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Most abortions illegal in 14 states after Idaho, South Carolina rulings

BOISE, Idaho (BP) – Most abortions are banned in 14 states as the overturning of Roe v. Wade continues to impact state laws protecting life in the nation.

In the latest pro-life ruling, the Idaho Supreme Court rejected a challenge from Planned Parenthood and ruled on Jan. 5 that the state constitution includes no implicit abortion protections. In the 3-2 ruling, the court upheld the constitutionality of three state laws restricting abortion.

Abortion is now allowed in Idaho only to save the life of the mother or in cases of rape or incest, according to the ruling.

A few hours later, the South Carolina Supreme Court struck down a six-week abortion ban there, upholding abortion through 22 weeks of pregnancy, the Associated Press reported.

The South Carolina ruling overturned the law South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster signed in 2021 restricting abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, generally interpreted as six weeks gestation. The 2021 law included exceptions to protect the mother’s life and in cases of rape or incest.

With the latest rulings, abortions are banned in 13 states and limited to six weeks in Georgia, according to abortion tracking sites such as the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).

The procedure remains widely available in 24 states, is banned as early as 15 weeks in two states, and is banned after 22 weeks in as many as five states.

In addition to Idaho, most abortions are banned in Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia (six weeks), Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Bans in Utah and Wyoming are blocked, the KFF reported.

Abortions remain widely available in Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota and Montana.

In addition to South Carolina, other states banning abortion after 22 weeks are Indiana, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska. North Carolina’s ban begins at 20 weeks, KFF reported.

While abortions are legal in North Dakota, the state no longer has an abortion clinic, KFF reported.