South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and two senior Republican leaders appealed a preliminary injunction from a federal district court barring the state from passing a bill banning nearly all abortions after detection of a fetal heartbeat, the governor announced on Wednesday.
The state, represented by State Attorney General Alan Wilson, Speaker of the House Jay Lucas and McMaster, among others, appealed Wednesday to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals challenging U.S. Judge Mary Lewis. March ruling that prevented the anti-abortion measure from coming into force.
The State’s legal record asks that Lewis’s order be set aside and asks the appeals court to dismiss the case on the grounds that the plaintiffs, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic and Greenville Women’s Clinic, lack standing to bring an action against the law.
He also argues that the Federal District Court erred in ordering the entire Fetal Heart Rate Act, despite the statute’s severability clause, which “orders that every” word “comes into effect regardless of what happens to other parts of the law “.
Motivated by a growing majority in the State House, the Republican-controlled legislature this year quickly passed a law that would ban abortions after a heartbeat was detected.
South Carolina’s Fetal Heartbeat Act, one of the toughest anti-abortion measures in the country, was promulgated on February 18, but got stuck in the courts from the start.
The law would ban all abortions once an embryo’s heartbeat is detectable, or about six weeks after the onset of pregnancy, except in cases of rape, incest, or the mother’s life is in danger. Critics argue that the law does not give women enough time to make a decision about terminating a pregnancy because many do not realize that they expect it early in pregnancy.
Lawyers for Planned Parenthood and the Greenville Women’s Clinic, which operate the state’s three abortion clinics, immediately pursued to stop the law, claiming it was unconstitutional.
Judge Lewis issued a temporary restraining order the next day, and in March issued a preliminary injunction that solidified the temporary restraining order and allowed the state to appeal the injunction to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.
She said she was in favor of delaying action on the case until the U.S. Supreme Court takes Mississippi anti-abortion action that seeks to ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. .
While the laws of South Carolina and Mississippi conflict with the nearly 50-year precedent set in the landmark Roe v. Wade of the U.S. Supreme Court who ruled that women have a constitutional right to an abortion up to six months pregnant, Republican leaders hope the new conservative majority in the nation’s highest court may find it differently.
In a statement Wednesday, McMaster explained his decision to appeal the federal district court’s preliminary injunction, even as United States Supreme Court prepares to hear Mississippi case.
“As U.S. Supreme Court Decision to Hear Mississippi Law Case Offers Great Hope and Promise for the Protection of the Lives of Unborn Children, We Must Stand Up for the Fetal Heartbeat Act of South Carolina against all challenges at all levels, ”he said. “As I said before, the right to life is the most precious of rights and the most fragile. We must never let this be taken for granted or taken away. And we must protect life at every opportunity, regardless of the cost or the inconvenience. “