After the Supreme Court ruled that the state’s six-week ban was unconstitutional, abortion rights advocates in South Carolina achieved a significant victory.
South Carolina Supreme Court overturns abortion ban. The state’s ban on abortion after six weeks was overturned on Thursday. The court ruled that the law violated constitutional rights to privacy, which extend to the decision to end a pregnancy.
The Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act was struck down by the court with a vote of 3-2. Abortions will be legal in South Carolina up to 20 weeks of pregnancy after this law is overturned.
What was thrown out: The law was signed into law in February 2021, but it didn’t take effect until shortly after the landmark Roe v. Wade decision was overturned last summer.
When a fetal heartbeat was detected, which typically occurs around six weeks, abortions were prohibited by law. Kaye Hearn, a justice on the South Carolina Supreme Court, said that was before many people knew they were pregnant.
Hearn disagreed with the argument made by the South Carolina state government that the absence of language mentioning bodily autonomy and medical care limited the constitutional rights to privacy, as has been the case in other states with similar laws.
Even though it may not apply to other states, the ruling was a significant victory for abortion rights in the new post-Roe era.
Hearn came to the following conclusion: “We hold that our state constitutional right to privacy extends to a woman’s decision to have an abortion.” The most intimate and personal considerations are taken into account when making the decision to end a pregnancy.
Rep. Murrell Smith (R), the South Carolina House Speaker, stated that the court had established “a constitutional right to an abortion where none exists.”
According to representatives of the businesses, two of the largest pharmacy chains in the nation are planning to apply for the certification required to sell abortion pills in states where it is legal.
A new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) policy that will allow retail pharmacies to dispense mifepristone from a certified prescriber if they meet certain criteria is likely to benefit from the decisions made by CVS and Walgreens.
In an email, Walgreens spokesman Fraser Engerman stated, “We are working through the registration, necessary training of our pharmacists, and evaluating our pharmacy network in terms of where we normally dispense products that have additional FDA requirements and will dispense these consistent with federal and state laws.”
CVS plans to apply for certification, according to a spokesperson, “where legally permissible.”
Pharmacies located in states where abortion is outright prohibited would not be eligible. Additionally, the pills must be dispensed in person by the physician who prescribed them in some states.
Mifepristone could only be given by a doctor in person up until 2021. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the FDA temporarily lifted that requirement. In December 2021, the Biden administration made the change permanent, making it possible for doctors to digitally prescribe the drug and then mail the pills to patients.