COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A new South Carolina law banning abortions will stay on hold following a judge’s order to extend a temporary restraining order.
U.S. District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis issued the extension Friday. It runs through March 19.
Her original order had been set to expire at midnight Friday.
On Monday, Lewis will preside over a hearing on Planned Parenthood’s request for an injunction halting the law altogether while a lawsuit seeking to overturn it is resolved.
The law requires doctors to perform ultrasounds to check for a heartbeat in the fetus, which can typically be detected about six weeks after conception. If one is detected, the abortion can only be performed if the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest or the mother’s life is in danger.