Planned Parenthood Wants to Kill More Babies in Abortions, Sues South Carolina Heartbeat Law

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 14, 2023   |   2:14PM   |   Columbia, South Carolina

For years, Planned Parenthood claimed abortions was just 3% of what it does. If that’s true, why is Planned Parenthood so desperate to sell more abortions?

The abortion business filed a lawsuit today against the South Carolina heartbeat law that protecting babies from abortions who have a detectable heartbeat.

Planned Parenthood complains that “around 91 percent” of its clients seeking abortions at Planned Parenthood facilities in Columbia and Charleston “have been denied abortion in the roughly three weeks” since the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled the Fetal Heartbeat law is constitutional.

In a complaint filed Thursday, Planned Parenthood lawyers claimed the new heartbeat law should not go into effect until 9 weeks – falsely claiming that the baby’s heartbeat can’t be detected until then. A baby’s heartbeat can typically be heard around 6 weeks, sometimes earlier, and the heart begins beating at 22 days.

Because it’s not 100% precise, legislators left the heartbeat terminology open so the pro-life law could protect babies as early as possible. Now, Planned Parenthood is trying to exploit that.

“The court itself has raised this issue and we think it needs to answer this ambiguity that it’s left open,” Catherine Humphreville, an attorney for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, told The Associated Press.

“As it stands right now, providers are forced to take this more conservative approach because they are risking, essentially, jail time and the loss of their licenses,” they said.

South Carolina Citizens for Life Executive Director Holly Gatling responded to the lawsuit in an email to LifeNews.

Planned Parenthood is in the business of killing unborn children and charging money for it. The complaint filed today basically says the Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act is costing the industry a lot of business. How sad and pathetic that these people who have already been born and are living their lives think nascent members of human family are worthless individuals subject to extermination.

The Fetal Heartbeat Act protects the unborn once a heartbeat can be detected, which is usually before the sixth week of pregnancy. The General Assembly defined a fetal heartbeat as “cardiac activity, or the steady and repetitive rhythmic contraction of the fetal heart, within the gestational sac.” According to the AP article, Planned Parenthood argues the “major components of what typically ultimately becomes the heart…do not typically form before nine weeks of pregnancy.” In other words, Planned Parenthood is asking the court to keep abortion legal well after the fetal heartbeat can be detected.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster signed the heartbeat law earlier this year, but abortion activists quickly took the pro-life measure to court. Last month, the South Carolina Supreme Court issued a 4-1 ruling comes after new Justice Gary Hill joined the state’s high court.

The majority ruled that women do have a right to bodily autonomy and privacy but that those rights do not outweigh “the interest of the unborn child to live.”

Justice John Kittredge penned the majority opinion.

He wrote, “The legislature has made a policy determination that, at a certain point in the pregnancy, a woman’s interest in autonomy and privacy does not outweigh the interest of the unborn child to live. As a Court, unless we can say that the balance struck by the legislature was unreasonable as a matter of law, we must uphold the Act.”

“[T]he legislature has found that the State has a compelling interest in protecting the lives of unborn children. That finding is indisputable and one we must respect,” it added.

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The majority opinion clearly states, “The 2023 Act generally prohibits an abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, not at a specific period of weeks into the pregnancy.”

Governor Henry McMaster celebrated the ruling.

“The Supreme Court’s ruling marks a historic moment in our state’s history and is the culmination of years of hard work and determination by so many in our state to ensure that the sanctity of life is protected. With this victory, we protect the lives of countless unborn children and reaffirm South Carolina’s place as one of the most pro-life states in America,” he said.

Attorney General Alan Wilson said he is pleased with the court’s decision. “I am grateful for our office’s role in defending the law.” He said the law will take effect immediately.

Lisa Van Riper, President of South Carolina Citizens for Life, said “This decision today restores protection for all human beings with a detectable heartbeat. By upholding the Heartbeat Act, the majority of the South Carolina Supreme Court has affirmed that the General Assembly and Governor McMaster acted within their power to carry out their most basic governmental responsibilities of protecting a human being’s right to life.”

Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Denise Harle also praised the ruling in an email to LifeNews.

“All human life is worth protecting, and the people of South Carolina have been eager to affirm life and prevent the obvious harms that abortion causes women and their children. Now, with this decision from the South Carolina Supreme Court, the state can affirm that life is a human right, just as they should following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs. We commend the South Carolina Legislature and Gov. McMaster for enacting a pro-life law that relies on sound medical science and statistical evidence, which shows that a detectable fetal heartbeat reliably and overwhelmingly predicts a healthy live birth. The state’s high court was right to uphold this law, which is critical for protecting mothers and their unborn babies.”

The decision is a dramatic reversal of the court’s previous 3-2 ruling in January that found an earlier Fetal Heartbeat law violated the South Carolina Constitution’s “right to privacy provision.” The retirement of one justice and the election of a new justice changed the vote, and one justice, John Few, who voted against the first heartbeat law, voted in favor of the new law.

Judge Clifton Newman of the Circuit Court of South Carolina previously issued the injunction pending a decision from the South Carolina Supreme Court about the bill. Now the law will be fully enforced to protect babies from abortions.

Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey noted that while there is no “right to privacy” in the U.S. Constitution, the South Carolina Constitution has an explicit right to privacy, but he said emphatically, it has “absolutely nothing to do with abortion.” The amendment was added to the state constitution in the early 1970s before the lethal 1973 Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme decision that was overturned on June 24, 2022. The South Carolina privacy clause was intended to protect individuals from government overreach into private bank records, phone records, and other privacy issues unrelated to abortion.

The new South Carolina law could save hundreds of unborn babies’ lives every month and stop most out-of-state abortion traffic currently flooding into South Carolina.

In January, the South Carolina Supreme Court struck down the 2021 law by a 3-2 vote that concluded the 2021 heartbeat law violated the South Carolina Constitution’s right to privacy clause. Three factors have changed since that decision. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe on June 24, 2024. The make-up of the South Carolina Supreme Court has changed with the retirement of a pro-abortion justice. The new Fetal Heartbeat law (S474) was written to address the issue raised by the South Carolina Supreme Court about the 2021 law.

McMaster signed the bill into law in a ceremony where he was joined by members of the General Assembly and members of the pro-life community to sign S. 474, the Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act, into law.

In February, DHEC reported that 504 South Carolina residents received an abortion, compared to 482 visitors, according to Massey. And in March, 525 S.C. residents and 433 visitors received abortions.

“The abortion landscape has changed considerably even from our last debate on the issue just last month,” Massey, R-Edgefield, said, referring to the upper chamber’s vote in April to reject a near-total abortion ban. “South Carolina has become the abortion capital of the southeast, and there’s really no other way to say that.”

The pro-life bill includes exceptions for rape and incest no more than 12 weeks, fatal fetal anomaly and the mother’s life. Under House modifications, the bill includes several new requirements, such as requiring child support to start at conception and allowing a judge to decide if a minor can have an abortion should a parent or guardian be unavailable.

According to the State Department of Health and Environmental Control, there currently are 1,000 abortions per month occurring in the Palmetto State largely because of out-of-state abortion traffic. That means the law would save hundreds of babies every month and thousands every year.