NRL News

Heartbeat Act Saving 80% of Unborn in S.C.

by | Jun 14, 2024

DHEC Report Shows “Public Policy Saves Lives”

By Holly Gatling, Executive Director, South Carolina Citizens for Life

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act is saving unborn babies’ lives in South Carolina since it was upheld last August by the State Supreme Court. Newly released data from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control [DHEC] shows abortions occurring in South Carolina declined by about 80 percent once the protective Fetal Heartbeat Act became legally effective.

“South Carolina Citizens for Life rejoices in these numbers that represent the preservation of these precious little lives,” said SCCL President Lisa Van Riper. “These are our little neighbors who have heartbeats – the most basic manifestation of human life. We applaud the public officials who ensured the passage and implementation of the 2023 Fetal Heartbeat Act,” she continued.

“The 80 percent reduction of abortions in South Carolina is a stark reminder that public policy saves lives.” Mrs. Van Riper said. “May this be a reminder that lifesaving legislation requires policymakers’ commitment to the lives of the unborn. May it remind us again that elections have consequences especially for life.”

During the first eight months of 2023 when abortion giant Planned Parenthood was fighting the law, DHEC statistics show an average of 954 abortions occurred every month in the three state-regulated abortion facilities including Planned Parenthood centers in Columbia and Charleston and a privately owned abortion business in Greenville.

Once the State Supreme Court upheld the Heartbeat law allowing it to take effect on August 23, 2023, the number of abortions dropped to about 186 per month, DHEC data shows. The report is available here under the heading of Abortion Statistics 2017-2023 (select 2023 Part I and Part 2).

Governor Henry McMaster who signed the law in May of 2023 also hailed the life-protecting law. The DHEC data “proves that the Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act has been a success, saving thousands of innocent lives and putting an end to South Carolina’s reputation as an abortion destination,” according to a statement from the Governor’s office.

In March the SCCL office published an article about a Planned Parenthood lawsuit against the State of South Carolina in which the abortion business complained that it was losing 75 percent of its revenue after the State Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Heartbeat law.

From August 23, 2023, to January 31, 2024, the lawsuit alleges Planned Parenthood “has been able to provide only 303 abortions in South Carolina, out of 1,209 patients who have made abortion appointments.”


Looked at in another way, Planned Parenthood was able to kill “only 303” unborn members of the human family instead of charging to kill four times that many children. Circuit Judge Daniel Coble dismissed the litigation in a May 16, 2024, order [].

As we reported in March, however, the total number of abortions occurring in 2023 tragically showed a 12.5 percent increase over the number of abortions in 2022. It remains to be seen whether the downward trend holds through 2024. State law requires DHEC to publish abortion statistics by June 30 of each year. That means it will be June of 2025 before the 2024 data is available.

Categories: State Legislation