A federal judge temporarily halted South Carolina’s abortion ban on Friday.
U.S. District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis granted a 14-day temporary restraining order blocking the ban and said she would renew that order when it expires in advance of a March 9 hearing on a more extensive preliminary injunction.
The order from Lewis means the law prohibiting most abortions in the state is no longer in effect as the lengthier court cases begin, a process that legal experts say could ultimately take years. The six-page order from Lewis referred to the ban as “plainly unconstitutional.
The state will not be able to appeal the temporary restraining order, but it will be able to appeal if Lewis grants the more permanent preliminary injunction on March 9.
Lewis voiced skepticism that any argument from the state could prevent that preliminary injunction, though she said she would give them until March 2 to submit briefs laying out their case.