On Wednesday, the South Carolina Supreme Court reportedly overturned an earlier decision from the high court earlier this year that ruled the state’s restriction on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy unconstitutional.
The court ruled 4-1 that abortion is not covered by South Carolina’s constitution’s prohibition on unreasonable invasions of “privacy.”
The Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act was upheld by the court after being temporarily barred in January, nearly two years after Republican Governor Henry McMaster signed it into law with broad support from state legislators.
With the exception of cases of rape or incest within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, medical emergencies, or fatal fetal deformities, the law forbids abortions after a fetal heartbeat has been found.
If they break the law, abortion doctors might be subject to a $10,000 fine and a two-year prison sentence.
In 2021, the fetal heartbeat law was struck down. Nevertheless, it briefly came into force with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to reverse Roe v. Wade and hand back control of abortion legislation to the states.
In August 2022, the law was then put on hold until the court’s earlier this year decision, which Justice Kaye Hearn declared unlawful in the majority judgment.