South Carolina Court Overturns State Law Banning Abortion After 'Fetal Heartbeat' Detected

(AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Dobbs, which returned the issue of abortion to the states in June 2022, there’s news Thursday of another state’s high court releasing a decision on the practice–this time in South Carolina.


The Associated Press reports:

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a ban on abortion after cardiac activity is detected — typically around six weeks — ruling the restriction enacted by the Deep South state violates a state constitutional right to privacy.

The 3-2 decision comes nearly two years after Republican Gov. Henry McMaster signed the restriction into law. The ban, which included exceptions for pregnancies by rape or incest or pregnancies that endanger the patient’s life, drew lawsuits almost immediately.

Justice Kaye Hearn wrote for the majority that the state “unquestionably” has the authority to limit the right of privacy that protects a woman from state interference with her decision. But she added any limitation must afford a woman sufficient time to determine she is pregnant and “take reasonable steps to terminate that pregnancy.”

“Six weeks is, quite simply, not a reasonable period of time for these two things to occur,” Hearn added.


The AP added that SC law currently “bars most abortions at the gestational age of 20 weeks.”

As we previously reported, other states have weighed in on the legality of abortion, including Georgia in November 2022, which reinstated the Peach state’s “fetal heartbeat” law (banning abortion after around six weeks) and–most recently–Arizona in late December, which found that abortion is legal up to 15 weeks. RedState will keep readers in the loop on any future rulings on this crucial topic, whether in the Palmetto state or other states across the country.


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