Battle Over Abortion Bill in South Carolina Continues

July 8, 2021 by Ansley Puckett
Battle Over Abortion Bill in South Carolina Continues
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster at the National Governors Association Winter Meeting in Washington. (Photo by Dan McCue)

COLUMBIA, S.C.- South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and others have appealed a federal court’s preliminary injunction preventing them implementing a ban on the abortion of a fetus with a detectable heartbeat.

McMaster signed the South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act on Feb. 18. 

Prior to that it received bipartisan approval by the S.C. General Assembly and passed by a vote of 30-13 in the state Senate and 79-35 in the House.  

The Fetal Heartbeat Bill requires an ultrasound for a detectable heartbeat before an abortion is performed and prohibits an abortion if a heartbeat is detected. If a person is found guilty of having an abortion that violates the bill, they could receive a prison sentence of up to two years or a $10,000 fine or both.  


McMaster argued at the time of signing that he and other South Carolinians had a duty to protect life.  

“As I’ve said before, the right to life is the most precious of rights and the most fragile. We must never let it be taken for granted or taken away. And we must protect life at every opportunity, regardless of cost or inconvenience,” McMaster said in a statement.  


Shortly after, abortion rights groups, including Planned Parenthood South Atlantic and Greenville Women’s Clinic, represented by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and the law firm Burnette Shutt & McDaniel, P.A. filed a lawsuit claiming the law was unconstitutional. U.S. District Court Judge Mary Geiger Lewis blocked enforcement of the law in March.

“Abortion is already severely restricted in South Carolina, and extreme bans like these are particularly harmful for people who cannot afford to travel long distances and who already face barriers to accessing health care due to discrimination, implicit biases and economic inequality,” the Center for Reproductive Rights said in a press release at the time of the bill.  

On Wednesday, McMaster filed an appeal to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals challenging U.S. District Judge Mary Lewis’ March ruling.

One of the primary issues argued in the filing is that the plaintiffs lack the third-party constitutional standing and statutory standing necessary to bring suit against the law. 

The other argues the federal district court made a mistake in enjoining the entirety of the Fetal Heartbeat Bill by disregarding the Act’s severability clause and incorrectly imposing its views of the Act’s purposes. 


“While the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to hear the case related to Mississippi’s law offers great hope and promise for protecting the lives of the unborn, we must defend South Carolina’s Fetal Heartbeat Act against every challenge at every level,” McMaster said. 

McMaster said he and other defendants will continue to challenge and defend the merits of the Fetal Heartbeat Act at the district court level while the appeal is pending.  

A+
a-

In The News

Health

Voting

In The States

July 1, 2022
by Reece Nations
Gun Bill a No-Show at New York Legislature, New Special Session Convened

ALBANY, N.Y. — New York lawmakers’ plans to cast votes on concealed carry gun legislation Thursday were delayed for hours... Read More

ALBANY, N.Y. — New York lawmakers’ plans to cast votes on concealed carry gun legislation Thursday were delayed for hours by surprise negotiations on the extension of mayoral control of public education and an amendment to the state constitution to protect abortion rights. When Democratic Gov.... Read More

June 30, 2022
by Dan McCue
Supreme Court to Hear Case on State Authority Over Elections

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear an appeal from North Carolina Republicans that could ultimately remove... Read More

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear an appeal from North Carolina Republicans that could ultimately remove state court authority over congressional redistricting.  If they decide for the petitioners in Moore v. Harper, the justices would dramatically limit when state courts could intervene,... Read More

June 29, 2022
by Dan McCue
Matthews Wins Runoff to Challenge Incumbent Sen. Tim Scott

COLUMBIA, S.C. — S.C. Democratic state Rep. Krystle Matthews has won the Democratic primary runoff in South Carolina and with... Read More

COLUMBIA, S.C. — S.C. Democratic state Rep. Krystle Matthews has won the Democratic primary runoff in South Carolina and with it the right to challenge incumbent Republican Sen. Tim Scott in November. With 99% of precincts reporting as of Wednesday afternoon, Matthews beat challenger Catherine Fleming... Read More

June 29, 2022
by Reece Nations
Texas Judge Allows Abortion Procedures to Resume Temporarily 

HOUSTON — Abortions up to around six weeks of pregnancy were permitted to resume at some clinics in Texas after... Read More

HOUSTON — Abortions up to around six weeks of pregnancy were permitted to resume at some clinics in Texas after Harris County District Court Judge Christine Weems granted a temporary restraining order on Tuesday that blocks the state’s ban enacted in 1925. Texas was one of... Read More

June 29, 2022
by Kate Michael
Georgia Power to Launch Largest Ever Coal Ash Harvesting Project

ATLANTA — Georgia Power on Wednesday unveiled a new project with a leading U.S. producer of sustainable cement alternatives. The... Read More

ATLANTA — Georgia Power on Wednesday unveiled a new project with a leading U.S. producer of sustainable cement alternatives. The project calls for millions of tons of stored coal ash to be excavated for use in concrete to construct bridges, roads, and buildings throughout the Southeast.... Read More

46 Migrants Found Dead in Abandoned Trailer in San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Forty-six people were found dead after being abandoned in a tractor-trailer on a remote back road... Read More

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Forty-six people were found dead after being abandoned in a tractor-trailer on a remote back road in San Antonio in the latest tragedy to claim the lives of migrants smuggled across the border from Mexico to the U.S. Sixteen people were hospitalized,... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top