South Carolina Court Strikes Down Six-Week Abortion Ban

Image copyright: Sam Wolfe

The Facts

  • In a 3-2 ruling, South Carolina’s Supreme Court on Thursday declared the state’s law banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy unconstitutional under state law because it violates a woman’s right to privacy and doesn't provide a “reasonable period of time” for a woman to take steps to terminate her pregnancy.

  • The so-called “fetal heartbeat” law was challenged by two South Carolina physicians, a women’s clinic in the city of Greenville and Planned Parenthood.

The Spin

Left narrative

This is a monumental victory in the battle to protect abortion rights, especially in the South. Although other state courts will have different political makeups, and their constitutions will have different language, every state that recognizes a constitutional right to abortion will set an example for other states.

Right narrative

The court was wrong to lump abortion rights in with a right to privacy, and there’s nothing in the state constitution that justifies abortions. Several other states have adopted similar “heartbeat” laws to protect the lives of the unborn, proving their legality. This ruling was judicial overreach; the legislature should be able to limit abortion as it sees fit.

Political split



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