The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the state’s six-week abortion ban violates the state’s constitution.
A 2021 law banned abortion upon detection of a “fetal heartbeat” at 4 weeks’ gestation, and more commonly at 6 weeks’ gestation, except for fetal abnormalities. Rape and incest, in some cases, of the mother.na
In a three-to-two ruling, the court concluded that the statute violated the state’s constitutional privacy protections, and Justice Kay Hahn said, “The state’s constitutional right to privacy extends to a woman’s decision to have an abortion. It will also reach, ”said the main opinion.
States can impose some restrictions on these rights, but Hahn writes: that pregnancy.
In a dissenting opinion written by Justice John Kittredge and joined in part by Justice George James, Kittredge wrote that he “respects the policy decisions made by Congress,” and that the issues that determine state abortion policy are , added that it would depend on the elected representatives. .
“Abortion presents important moral and policy issues. Citizens have spoken out through their duly elected representatives. The South Carolina legislature, not this court, should decide policy issues.” Kittredge objected.
South Carolina’s Republican governor, Henry McMaster, condemned the ruling on Thursday, saying the court “given rights to the constitution that South Carolinians never intended.”
“With this opinion, the Court has clearly exceeded its mandate. People have spoken through their elected representatives on this issue many times. We are doing it,” the governor said.
But the White House applauded the decision, with Press Secretary Carine Jean-Pierre writing: Tweet The Biden administration said it was “encouraged by the South Carolina Supreme Court’s ruling today on the state’s extreme and unsafe abortion ban.”
Planned Parenthood South Atlantic and Greenville Women’s Clinic, and two private health care providers, filed a lawsuit against the law last July, arguing that the six-week ban on the procedure violated several provisions of the South Carolina Constitution. claimed to be
A circuit court judge refused to block the ban in late July and recommended moving the case to state superior court. Moved forward.
This article has been updated with a response from the White House.