January 9, 2023

South Carolina Supreme Court Rules State Constitution Implies Right to abortion

On January 5, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that a pro-life law banning the abortion of unborn children with detectable heartbeats is illegal. The court ruled that the state's right to privacy implies a right to abortion. The ruling came on the same day that Idaho's Supreme Court made the opposite ruling about its own constitution.

The South Carolina Supreme Court found that the heartbeat law "violates our state Constitution's prohibition against unreasonable invasions of privacy" because it did not allow a woman "sufficient time" to decide whether to have an abortion. 

“Our State Supreme Court has found a right in our Constitution which 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 multiple times on this issue,” South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster tweeted. “I look forward to working with the General Assembly to correct this error.”

With the heartbeat law struck down, abortion is only banned in South Carolina after 20 weeks gestation.

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