South Carolina Supreme Court Blocks Heartbeat Law Saving Babies From Abortions

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 17, 2022   |   3:59PM   |   Columbia, South Carolina

The South Carolina Supreme Court has issued an injunction temporarily blocking the state’s heartbeat law from protecting babies from abortions.

Last month, a South Carolina judge has denied a request from the Planned Parenthood abortion business to block the state’s heartbeat law, making it so the pro-life law will continue protecting babies from abortions.

Circuit Judge Casey Manning declined Planned Parenthood’s request today to block the Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act and instead sent the issue directly to the South Carolina Supreme Court to decide. Today, the state’s highest court put the law on hold until the pro-abortion lawsuit against it plays out in court.

Abortion activists argue the law “violates the South Carolina Constitution’s right to privacy and its guarantees of equal protection and due process.”

Attorney General Alan Wilson promised to continue fighting for the pro-life law.

“While we are disappointed, it’s important to point out this is a temporary injunction. The court didn’t rule on the constitutionality of the Fetal Heartbeat law. We will continue to defend the law,” he said.

The nation’s biggest abortion business applauded the decision.

“We applaud the court’s decision to protect the people of South Carolina from this cruel law that interferes with a person’s private medical decision,” said Jenny Black, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic. “For more than six weeks, patients have been forced to travel hundreds of miles for an abortion or suffer the life-altering consequences of forced pregnancy. Today the court has granted our patients a welcome reprieve.”

The heartbeat law had been protecting babies form abortions since June 27.

The State Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) Abortion Report for 2021 shows that the Planned Parenthood facilities in Charleston and Columbia collectively killed 3,604 babies waiting to be born in South Carolina. That is 57 percent of the 6,279 abortions committed in South Carolina in 2021. The Greenville Women’s Clinic, also a plaintiff in the lawsuit to overturn the Fetal Heartbeat Act, killed 2,603 unborn babies in 2021, according to the DHEC report. Planned Parenthood killed 1,832 unborn black babies while Greenville Women’s Center killed 1,031 unborn back children, according to DHEC records.

The heartbeat law could save as many as half or more of those babies from abortions until the state has a full-fledged abortion ban in place.

Yesterday, the South Carolina House Judiciary Committee voted 13-7 for an abortion ban to protect the lives of unborn babies. The measure would upgrade the state’s existing heartbeat law, which protects babies from abortions starting at 6 weeks when their heartbeat can be detected on a sonogram, to a full abortion ban protecting babies starting at conception.

The measure, strongly supported by South Carolina Citizens for Life, protects the lives of unborn children from death by abortion and protects women whose lives may be endangered by pregnancy complications.

All Republicans on the panel voted for the bill, H. 5399, while all Democrats voted against the pro-life measure, which would only allow abortions to protect the mother’s life.

The measure also indicates “it is undisputed that the life of every human being begins at conception” means child support and tax breaks begin at conception too.

Three Republicans did not vote because they want to see changes to the bill on the House floor. Republican Gov. Henry McMaster, who is pro-life and signed the heartbeat law, is expected to sign the ban into law.

“Out of respect for the process, I’m not voting today,” Republican Rep. Neal Collins said. “Myself and many other are not in position to vote for this bill without significant changes.”

Here’s more:

The full House with 80 Republicans, 43 Democrats and one vacancy will likely debate the bill at a special session called by House Speaker Murrell Smith in the next few weeks and decide whether to send the bill on to the Senate.

ACTION ALERT: Tell members of the South Carolina legislature that you support H 5399 to ban abortions.

The bill bans all abortions except when the life of the mother is in danger. It lists a number of different medical emergencies that would fit into the exceptions.

McCravy said the bill was carefully crafted to protect a mother’s life while also making sure “all pre-born lives are protected and all innocent lives are protected no matter the circumstances of conception.”

Pro-Life Representative John McCravy, R-Greenwood, an attorney and chairman of the Judiciary Special Laws Subcommittee, said the Human Life Protection Act stops the use of abortion for birth control, protects the life and serious health of the pregnant woman, does not restrict access to contraception, and protects in vitro fertilization and assisted reproductive technology.

“This bill does not mimic the language of any model bill or any other bill in the nation,” said McCravy, chair of the Family Caucus that advocates for conservative legislation. “This bill is not the result of any national group effort. It is completely unique to the state of South Carolina, and only gives special status to the input of medical professionals in our state.”

McCravy noted that in preparing the language, a specially appointed House Ad Hoc Committee heard 118 witnesses and seven hours of public testimony earlier in the summer. The language was crafted in consultation with medical experts, he said.

“The mother’s life is fully protected in this language.”

Lisa Van Riper, President of South Carolina Citizens for Life said, “This is another important step toward rebuilding a culture of life in South Carolina where all children will be welcomed and protected while preserving and care for their mom.”

Both Representative McCravy and Mrs. Van Riper sharply criticized the misleading and intentionally false information that is being spread by abortion supporters. Mrs. Van Riper commended the 13 members as “brave” supporters of human life “in the face of vile misrepresentations and distortions.”

Earlier in the day, militant pro-abortion Democrat Representative Spencer Wetmore recklessly testified that the Human Life Protection Act will “ban abortions, throw doctors in jail, and kill women.”

Following the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin have abortion bans currently in place while Idaho, Georgia, Ohio, South Carolina and Tennessee have heartbeat laws in place protecting babies from abortions starting at 6 weeks.

As LifeNews reported, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, with a 6-3 majority ruling in the Dobbs case that “The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion” — allowing states to ban abortions and protect unborn babies. The high court also ruled 6-3 uphold the Mississippi 15-week abortion ban so states can further limit abortions and to get rid of the false viability standard.

Chief Justice John Roberts technically voted for the judgment but, in his concurring opinion, disagreed with the reasoning and said he wanted to keep abortions legal but with a new standard.

Texas and Oklahoma had banned abortions before Roe was overturned and Missouri became the first state after Roe to protect babies from abortions and South Dakota became the 2nd. Then Arkansas became the third state protecting babies from abortions and Kentucky became the 4th and Louisiana became the 5th and Ohio became the 6th and Utah became the 7th and Oklahoma became the 8th and Alabama became the 9th. This week, Mississippi became the 10th and South Carolina became the 11th,Texas became the 12th with its pre-Roe law and Tennessee became the 13th.

Michigan, Wisconsin and West Virginia have old pro-life laws on the books but there is question about whether they are applicable and will be enforced.

Ultimately, as many as 26 states could immediately or quickly ban abortions and protect babies from certain death for the first time in nearly 50 years.

The 13 total states with trigger laws that would effectively ban all or most abortions are: Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.

“Abortion presents a profound moral question. The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives,” Alito wrote.

“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences,” Alito wrote. “And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”

Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer authored a joint dissent condemning the decision as enabling states to enact “draconian” restrictions on women.

Polls show Americans are pro-life on abortion and a new national poll shows 75% of Americans essentially agree with the Supreme Court overturning Roe.

Despite false reports that abortion bans would prevent doctors from treating pregnant women for miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies, pro-life doctors confirm that is not the case. Some 35 states have laws making it clear that miscarriage is not abortion and every state with an abortion ban allows treatment for both.

ACTION ALERT: Tell members of the South Carolina legislature that you support H 5399 to ban abortions.