South Carolina state Supreme Court throws out abortion law

South Carolina’s children in the womb were dealt a blow this week after the state’s Supreme Court threw out a law which protected most of them. 

As Fox News reported, three of the court’s five justices held that the Fetal Heartbeat Act infringes on a woman’s right to privacy. Passed in 2021, the legislation outlaws abortion at 6 weeks.

Law found to be “an unreasonable restriction”

“We hold that the decision to terminate a pregnancy rests upon the utmost personal and private considerations imaginable, and implicates a woman’s right to privacy,” Justice Kaye Hearn argued in the majority opinion.

“While this right is not absolute and must be balanced against the State’s interest in protecting unborn life, this Act, which severely limits — and in many instances completely forecloses — abortion, is an unreasonable restriction upon a woman’s right to privacy, and is therefore unconstitutional.”

Alexis McGill Johnson serves as president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and Fox News noted that she welcomed the decision.

“Today’s ruling is a win for freedom. We are relieved that this dangerous law has been relegated to the history books and can no longer threaten patients and providers in South Carolina,” Johnson was quoted as saying in a statement.

“Reproductive health care, including abortion, is a fundamental right that should never be subject to the whims of power-hungry politicians,” she continued.

“Planned Parenthood will keep working day by day and state by state to safeguard that right for all people, and we won’t stop until everyone can access the essential health care they need and deserve,” Johnson concluded.

Meanwhile, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson and Gov. Henry McMaster are said to be reviewing their legal options.

Georgia state Supreme Court reinstates abortion law

The move by South Carolina’s state Supreme Court justices came just a month an a half after Georgia’s highest judicial body voted to reinstate that state’s six week abortion abortion ban.

According to Fox News, the Georgia state Supreme Court ruled that the law can remain in effect while it considers an appeal of a lower court decision.

On November 15, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney declared Georgia’s 6 week abortion ban to be unconstitutional as Roe v. Wade was still the law of the land when it was passed in 2019.

Roe v. Wade was the 1973 United States Supreme Court ruling which held abortion to be a constitutional right. It was overturned last summer by the Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

McBurney said that although a six-week abortion ban “may someday become the law of Georgia,” it would only happen “in the sharp glare of public attention that will undoubtedly and properly attend such an important and consequential debate whether the rights of unborn children justify such a restriction on women’s right to bodily autonomy and privacy.”