The state’s Supreme Court reportedly declared on Thursday that the right to privacy in South Carolina includes the right to abortion.
The ruling overturns the state’s statute that prohibits abortions beyond the sixth week of pregnancy.
The ruling marks a major victory for the pro-abortion movement in the South, where states have severely limited access.
It is the first decisive decision by a state Supreme Court on the validity of abortion in the state since the United States Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade in June.
Abortion rights groups responded to the judgment by bringing lawsuits in 19 states, trying to establish a right to abortion under state constitutions, claiming specific clauses in those documents safeguarding a woman’s privacy and equal rights in many circumstances.
The case in South Carolina was a vital first test for that strategy
The five judges concluded 3-2 that a state prohibition on abortions after around six weeks of pregnancy violated a state constitution clause.
Still the court noted that the right to privacy was not ‘absolute’ and should be balanced against the state’s interest in protecting the unborn.