South Carolina Supreme Court Strikes Down Ban On Abortion From 6 Weeks

South Carolina Supreme Court Strikes Down Ban On Abortion From 6 Weeks

“Call Jane” the era of clandestine abortion in the 60s 1:19

(WABNEWS) — The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the state’s ban on abortion after six weeks of pregnancy violates the state Constitution.

The 2021 law prohibited abortion once what it called a “fetal heartbeat” was detected, which can happen as early as four weeks and more commonly six weeks into pregnancy, with exceptions for fetal abnormalities, risk to the life of the mother or in some cases of rape or incest.


In a vote of 3-2the court found that the law violated the privacy protections enshrined in the state Constitution, with Justice Kaye Hearn writing in the lead opinion that “the state’s constitutional right to privacy extends to a woman’s decision to have an abortion.”

Andrea Kaniarz, of Lexington, watches the meeting of the South Carolina House of Representatives during discussion of a bill banning most abortions, in Columbia, South Carolina, on September 27, 2022. Credit: Tracy Glantz/The State/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Although the state may impose some limits on those rights, Hearn wrote, “any such limitation must be reasonable and make sense in the sense that the time limits imposed must give the woman sufficient time to determine that she is pregnant and to take appropriate action.” reasonable to terminate that pregnancy.

In a dissenting opinion by Justice John Kittredge, joined in part by Justice George James, Kittredge wrote that he would “respect the policy decision made by the General Assembly,” adding that the issue of determining abortion policy in the state belongs to their elected legislators.

“Abortion raises an important moral and political issue. The citizens, through their duly elected representatives, have spoken. The South Carolina legislature, and not this court, must determine policy issues,” Kittredge wrote in his vote. particular.

South Carolina Republican Gov. Henry McMaster criticized Thursday’s ruling, writing in a statement that the court “has found a right in our Constitution that was never intended by the people of South Carolina.”

“With this opinion, the court has clearly exceeded its authority. The people have spoken through their elected representatives on multiple occasions on this issue. I look forward to working with the General Assembly to correct this error,” the governor said.

The decision, however, was applauded by the White House. Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre wrote in a Tweet that the Biden administration is “encouraged by the South Carolina Supreme Court’s ruling on the extreme and dangerous ban on abortion in the state.”

Planned Parenthood South Atlantic and Greenville Women’s Clinic, as well as two individual providers, filed their lawsuit against the law last July, alleging that the ban on the procedure after six weeks violates several provisions of the South Carolina constitution.

In late July, a circuit court judge refused to block the ban, recommending that the suit be moved to the state Supreme Court, which temporarily blocked its application in August, granting a petition from abortion providers in the state. state for injunctive relief while his challenge to the law progressed.

— Veronica Stracqualursi, Devon Sayors and Alta Spells contributed reporting.



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