South Carolina’s Supreme Court overturned a state law on Thursday making it illegal to abort a child after a fetal heartbeat is detected, ruling the ban violates a state constitutional right to privacy.
With federal abortion rights being transferred to the state in June after the overturning of Roe v. Wade, some states have been working on the legality of abortion as lawsuits filter in.
The South Carolina court is considering the ruling a huge “win” as no state court until Thursday “had ruled definitively whether a constitutional right to privacy — a right not explicitly enumerated in the U.S. Constitution — extends to abortion,” according to the Associated Press.
The ruling came in a 3-2 decision from the state’s Supreme Court and was based on the state’s own constitution, which, unlike the U.S. Constitution, gives citizens a right to privacy. Lawyers defending the state law argued the right to privacy should be interpreted narrowly.
“We hold that the decision to terminate a pregnancy rests upon the utmost personal and private considerations imaginable, and implicates a woman’s right to pregnancy,” Justice Kaye Hearn wrote in the ruling.
Hearn also ruled that any limitations on abortion “must be reasonable” and give a woman enough time to “determine she is pregnant and to take reasonable steps to terminate that pregnancy.”
“Six weeks is, quite simply, not a reasonable period of time for these two things to occur,” she concluded.
South Carolina’s Gov. Henry McMaster (R) originally signed the banning of abortions after fetal activity into law nearly two years ago.
Those looking to terminate their pregnancy will now be able to do so up to 20 weeks gestational age, which is what the state law was before McMaster’s law.
The pro-abortion Biden administration was quick to make a statement following the overturning. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre shared her excitement on Twitter on Thursday.
“We are encouraged by South Carolina’s Supreme Court ruling today on the state’s extreme and dangerous abortion ban. Women should be able to make their own decisions about their bodies,” the press secretary said.
We are encouraged by South Carolina’s Supreme Court ruling today on the state’s extreme and dangerous abortion ban. Women should be able to make their own decisions about their bodies.
— Karine Jean-Pierre (@PressSec) January 5, 2023
For conservatives, the ruling marks a sad advancement of abortion rights and furthers the demonization of those who oppose it.
Tucker Carlson speaks with Isabel Vaughan-Spruce, who was ARRESTED after silently praying near an abortion clinic in England. pic.twitter.com/eXW8QjKlAl
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) December 24, 2022