The South Carolina Supreme Court struck down a six-week abortion ban Thursday, ruling that the law violates an individual's constitutional right to privacy. The 3-2 decision will now allow abortions to remain legal in the state for up to 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The "heartbeat ban," put into place in 2021, and blocked since August, denies a woman from obtaining an abortion after six weeks -- a time frame in which most women would not know if they are pregnant. The law had exceptions in place for fetal anomalies, risks to the life of the mother, and ​some cases of rape or incest. ​

In the majority opinion, Justice Kaye Hearn wrote that the state can limit the right to privacy but, "any such limitation must be reasonable and it must be meaningful in that the time frames imposed must afford a woman sufficient time to determine she is pregnant and to take reasonable steps to terminate that pregnancy."

Six weeks, the court argued, is not sufficient time for these two things to occur. Two other justices — Chief Justice Donald Beatty and Justice John Few — joined the majority ruling.

The decision relied heavily on the right to privacy, which was added as a clause in the South Carolina state constitution in 1971.

Justice John Kittredge wrote a dissent to the ruling arguing that, "There is no language in article I, section 10 of the South Carolina Constitution that supports an interpretation of a privacy right that would encompass a right to abortion."

The court acknowledged the heated political debate surrounding abortion and the court's role as a nonpartisan government arm.

"Our decision today is neither 'pro-choice' nor 'prolife'; it merely recognizes that our state constitution grants every South Carolinian a right to privacy, equal protection, and due process of laws. This fundamental, constitutional mandate transcends politics and opinion," the conclusion wrote.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre praised the decision in a tweet Thursday, saying that the administration "is encouraged" by the ruling.

Several Republican attempts to ban abortion have been squandered by state courts.

In November, a judge struck down Georgia's six-week abortion ban citing pre-Dobbs Supreme Court precedent.

Other states have had their anti-abortion legislation blocked, including Iowa, Montana, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, North Dakota, Indiana, and Ohio.