South Carolina Gov. signs 20-week abortion ban

FILE - In this Monday, May 2, 2016 file photo, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley speaks with reporters outside the Jasper County office building in Ridgeland, S.C., after a briefing on a $4.5 billion container terminal South Carolina and Georgia are jointly building on the Savannah River. The South Carolina Legislature passed a bill Tuesday, May 17, 2016, prohibiting abortion after 19 weeks, becoming the 17th state to pass the restrictive ban. The legislation will now head to Gov. Haley's desk. (AP Photo/Bruce Smith, File)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has signed legislation outlawing most abortions at 20 weeks beyond fertilization.

The law took effect Wednesday with the Republican governor’s signature. The only exceptions are if the mother’s life is in jeopardy or a doctor determines the fetus can’t survive outside the womb.

These bans are now in effect in 13 states and blocked by court challenges in three other. South Dakota’s ban takes effect July 1.

RELATED COVERAGE:South Carolina passes bill banning abortion after 19 weeks

Under the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling establishing a nationwide right to abortion, states were permitted to restrict abortions after viability. But the ruling offered no legal definition for viability, saying it could range between 24 and 28 weeks into a pregnancy. The high court has yet to rule on the 20-week bans.

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