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South Carolina Governor signs 20-week abortion ban

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed into law a bill on Wednesday banning most abortions after 19 weeks of pregnancy unless the life of the mother is at risk, a spokesperson said.

South Carolina Governor signs 20-week abortion ban

The bill was passed last week by the South Carolina legislature. South Carolina has become the 17th US state to approve such a ban.

Haley spokesperson Chaney Adams said a signing ceremony will take place on a later date. The act was proposed last year in South Carolina?s Republican-controlled legislature. The lawmakers passed the bill after it was stripped of exceptions for pregnancies that result from rape of incest.

Similar laws have been passed by sixteen other states as conservatives have chipped away at the U.S. Supreme Court?s landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision to legalize abortion. The ban has been overturned by courts in three states.

"I believe that life begins at conception and every step we can take to get back to that point is important," the bill's sponsor, Republican Representative Wendy Nanney, told Reuters. "In my view and many others, it's inhumane to subject that baby to pain at 20 weeks."

"This is a dangerous bill for South Carolina women ..., made even more extreme by removing exceptions for victims of rape and incest," Alyssa Miller, South Carolina director of public affairs for Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, said in a statement.