South Carolina Gov Henry McMaster Calls for Abortion Ban to Protect Babies

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 27, 2023   |   11:51AM   |   Columbia, South Carolina

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster wants his state to become the next to protect babies from abortions.

Although he signed a heartbeat law to ban abortions when an unborn child’s heartbeat can be detected at six weeks, the ban has been blocked in court. Now, South Carolina lawmakers must craft a new ban that can survive a legal challengein state court.

Yesterday, a state House panel advanced a new Human Life Protection Act (H3774) to the full Judiciary Committee that would ban abortions and conform to the requirements the South Carolina State Supreme Court outlined when it blocked the heartbeat law. Such legislation enjoys McMaster’s support.

“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 this week.

The South Carolina Supreme Court struck down the state’s heartbeat law banning abortion as unconstitutional earlier this year because of a “right to privacy” even though privacy rights don’t allow someone to kill another person.

Last year, a federal judge allowed the state’s heartbeat law protecting babies from abortions when their heartbeat can be detected at 6 weeks to take effect following the Supreme Court’s monumental decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

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But abortion advocates took the abortion ban to state court in a legal challenge and won a victory today in their efforts to keep their abortion businesses open to kil babies.

“Six weeks is, quite simply, not a reasonable period of time” for a woman to know she is pregnant and “take reasonable steps to terminate that pregnancy,” the state’s high court said in its ruling.

“The State unquestionably has the authority to limit the right of privacy that protects women from state interference with her decision, 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 is, quite simply, not a reasonable period of time for these two things to occur, and therefore the Act violates our state Constitution’s prohibition against unreasonable invasions of privacy,” Justice Kaye Hearn wrote in the majority opinion.

The decision is a misread of the privacy provisions of the state constitution. As AP reports, “In South Carolina, lawyers representing the state Legislature have argued that the right to privacy should be interpreted narrowly. During oral arguments this past October, they argued historical context suggests lawmakers intended to protect against searches and seizures when they ratified the right in 1971.”

The state’s Right to Privacy Amendment was passed in 1970, three years before the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision of the U.S. Supreme Court.

“We are beyond disappointed in the South Carolina Supreme Court’s decision,” said Lisa Van Riper, president of South Carolina Citizens for Life. “The court ruled in favor of the economic interests of the abortion industry whose primary source of income is killing unborn children.”

Van Riper continued, “We disagree with the majority opinion whose interpretation of the right to privacy is an overreach.”

The new bill advancing in the legislature would respond to and address those concerns.

Representative John McCravy, R-Greenwood,explained:

“Unfortunately, a majority of our own South Carolina Supreme Court recently took it upon themselves to assume the role of the legislature and struck down the Heartbeat law,” he said. He noted, however, the Justice John Few in his dissenting opinion left open the possibility that legislation with a “balancing test” might be upheld by the high court. Justice Few’s opinion “stated that had the legislature found that human life begins at conception, the interest of human life would outweigh the right to privacy. This bill recognizes that human life begins at conception and that human life is deserving of protection at all stages of development and decline.”

South Carolina Citizens for Life and the state’s coalition of pro-life, pro-family organizations strongly supported H3774 with in-person testimony and written testimony.