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South Carolina Citizens for Life and National Right to Life on the South Carolina Supreme Court Striking Down South Carolina’s Fetal Heartbeat Bill

Jan 5, 2023 | 2023 Press Releases, Press Releases, Press Room

COLUMBIA, S.C. – On Thursday, January 5th, the South Carolina Supreme Court, in a 3-2 decision, overturned South Carolina’s Fetal Heartbeat and Protection Act.

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 that the right to privacy was intended to relate to abortion.”

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.

The decision will have a detrimental impact on women of color and their unborn children. A disproportionate number of Black children die from abortion in South Carolina. According to the State Department of Health and Environmental Control, Black South Carolinians make up 28 percent of the state’s population, yet nearly 45 percent of all abortions occurring in the state are performed on Black children.

Since 1990, South Carolina Citizens for Life has successfully lobbied for the Parental Consent Act as well as 15 other protective laws which the court has upheld.

Abortions have declined by more than 50 percent in the state as a result.

“We will continue to advocate for other protective laws such as a woman’s right to hear her baby’s heartbeat before an abortion and to have access to information about reversing the so-called abortion pill which is used now in 70 percent of abortions in South Carolina,” said Van Riper.

Representative John McCravy, R-Greenwood, and chairman of the S.C. House Family Caucus said, “The U.S. Supreme Court, through their Dobbs decision this summer, handed the issue of abortion to state legislatures. Unfortunately, the South Carolina Supreme Court followed the path of the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade by creating a constitutional right to an abortion where none exists. Today’s decision fails to respect the concept of separation of powers and strips the people of this state from having a say in a decision that was meant to reflect their voices. Instead, South Carolina is left with a decision that is not reflective of our state’s political process or will.”

“The U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision gives states the ability to listen to the people and pass laws that protect unborn children,” stated Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “South Carolina’s Supreme Court decision is an insult to the citizens of South Carolina who voted for pro-life legislators to pass pro-life laws.”

Founded in 1968, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of affiliates in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia and more than 3,000 local chapters, is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization. Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement, National Right to Life works through legislation and education to protect innocent human life from abortion, infanticide, assisted suicide and euthanasia.