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South Carolina legislature sends new 6-week abortion to governor's desk

The North Carolina legislature last week overrode the veto of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper to enact a 12-weeek ban.

May 23, 2023 7:41pm

Updated: May 23, 2023 7:41pm

The South Carolina Senate approved a six-week abortion ban on Tuesday that its proponents believe will survive judicial scrutiny after the state Supreme Court shot down a prior ban.

The upper chamber approved the measure, which bans abortion after six weeks, but make exceptions for rape, incest, fatal fetal abnormalities, or threats to the patient's life or health up to 12 weeks, according to the Associated Press.

The state House approved the bill last week, meaning it will now head to the desk of Republican Gov. Henry McMaster, who has stated he will sign it. Lawmakers are optimistic the new measure will survive judicial review.

The state Supreme Court in January struck down the prior ban, saying "[w]e 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."

"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," the court opined.

Notably, that decision was 3-2 and Justice Kaye Hearn, who wrote the decision stopping the original ban, has since retired.

At present, abortion remains legal in the state up to 22 weeks, making it one of the last southern states with relatively permissive abortion laws. Most have enacted near-total bans on the procedure while Florida and Georgia have opted for similar six-week bans.

The North Carolina legislature overrode the veto of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper last week to enact a 12-weeek ban.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.

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