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Attorney general asks court to reconsider abortion ruling

Scott Morgan

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina's attorney general on Monday asked the state's high court to reconsider its ruling striking down the state's six-week abortion ban.

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson filed a rehearing request with the South Carolina Supreme Court. The court, in a 3-2 decision earlier this month, ruled that the 2021 law banning abortions when cardiac activity is detected, about six weeks after conception, violated the state constitution's right to privacy.

"We respectfully disagree with the court's decision and believe the intent of the South Carolina Constitution is clear. The framers of our privacy provision did not conceive this provision as creating a right to abortion," Wilson wrote in a statement issued by his office.

The January court ruling striking down the ban was a significant victory for abortion rights' advocates looking for safeguards in state constitutions to protect abortion access after the U.S. Supreme Court stripped away federal protections by overturning Roe v. Wade..

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster in his State of the State speech last week vowed to press forward with efforts to further restrict abortion in the state. The Republican governor announced his support for a rehearing petition.

"I remain optimistic that we will prevail in our historic fight to protect and defend the right to, and the sanctity of, life," McMaster said.

The court ruling striking down the six-week ban has put the issue of abortion restrictions back before the South Carolina General Assembly.