Friday, January 6, 2023

The South Carolina Supreme Court Strikes Down the State’s Fetal Heartbeat Act

The South Carolina Supreme Court Strikes Down the State’s Fetal Heartbeat Act

AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe

By a vote of 3-2, the South Carolina Supreme Court struck down the state’s Fetal Heartbeat Act on Thursday. The law, which Gov. Henry McMaster signed into law in 2021, would have essentially prohibited abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, which is usually when a heartbeat can be detected in an unborn baby. The law took effect following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision last year, which returned the issue of abortion to the jurisdiction of the states.

According to Fox News, Justice Kaye Hearn wrote:

We hold that the decision to terminate a pregnancy rests upon the utmost personal and private considerations imaginable, and implicates a woman’s right to privacy. While this right is not absolute and must be balanced against the State’s interest in protecting unborn life, this Act, which severely limits — and in many instances completely forecloses — abortion, is an unreasonable restriction upon a woman’s right to privacy, and is therefore unconstitutional.

Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, called the ruling a “win for freedom.” She also stated:

Reproductive health care, including abortion, is a fundamental right that should never be subject to the whims of power-hungry politicians. Planned Parenthood will keep working day by day and state by state to safeguard that right for all people, and we won’t stop until everyone can access the essential health care they need and deserve.

By contrast, LifeNews reports that Lisa Van Riper, president of South Carolina Citizens for Life, issued the following statement:

We are beyond disappointed in the South Carolina Supreme Court’s decision. The court ruled in favor of the economic interests of the abortion industry whose primary source of income is killing unborn children. We disagree with the majority opinion whose interpretation of the right to privacy is an overreach.

As someone who was firmly pro-choice for much of his life and even took part in an abortion rights march as a kid, I have in retrospect found it sadly interesting that the enlightened among us seem to place so much value on the termination of human life. Yes, we understand the validity of the rape and incest arguments and the situations in which a mother’s health or life may be at stake. But one would think that our alleged intellectual and cultural betters would be interested in a less bloody solution to the cases that fall outside of those conditions.

But apparently, at least some of them are not. This was evidenced by a recent story on NewsBusters. A pro-life billboard in Portland, Ore., was vandalized at the first of the year. The picture of a baby had the eyes crossed out with black X’s, along with the words “Kill Them Kids.”

Thoughtful, rational, and enlightened, indeed.

It is tempting to say, “Well, we’re talking about Portland; what did you expect?” And there is some legitimacy to that question. After all, Portland has become a sanctuary city for violent feral activists and an array of other people who appear to have been raised in kennels, if not by wolves. But at the same time, it points to the heart of the issue.

Pro-lifers can praise the Dobbs decision to the heavens. And they have. But in a country in which any boundaries of behavior or personal responsibility are evaporating at an astounding rate, legislation and court decisions will not carry the day. It is a well-established fact that Leftists only want to support and obey laws with which they agree. For the most extreme members of their ranks, obeying the law seems to be contingent on how they feel that day. In a nation in which everyone is encouraged not to seek a higher standard but lower the existing ones, abortion will continue to be a fact of life.

The fight for life is really a part of the larger fight for the culture. And at the pace at which the culture is decaying, that fight promises to be a long struggle.

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