COLUMBIA, South Carolina (LifeSiteNews) – The South Carolina Supreme Court struck down the state’s abortion-restricting Fetal Heartbeat Act on Thursday, declaring that the law infringed upon the “right to privacy.”
The act, which banned abortions when a fetal heartbeat can be detected, at about six weeks gestation, was signed into law by Governor Henry McMaster in 2021, but did not take effect until the overturning of Roe v. Wade in June 2022.
The law was subsequently challenged by the state’s abortionists, Planned Parenthood and Greenville Women’s Clinic, and the state Supreme Court then temporarily blocked it until it could rule on its constitutionality.
Justice Kaye Hearn wrote on behalf of the 3-2 state Supreme Court majority that “Six weeks is, quite simply, not a reasonable period of time” for a woman to know she is pregnant and make the decision to have an abortion.
Hearn framed the issue in terms of limiting a “right to privacy,” and not a “right to life.”
“The State unquestionably has the authority to limit the right of privacy that protects women from state interference with her decision, but any such limitation must be reasonable and it must be meaningful in that the time frames imposed must afford a woman sufficient time to determine she is pregnant and to take reasonable steps to terminate that pregnancy,” wrote Hearn.
She concluded that because the Fetal Heartbeat Act did not allow a woman such “sufficient time” to decide whether to have an abortion, that the law “violates our state Constitution’s prohibition against unreasonable invasions of privacy.”
Pro-life priest and Red Rose Rescuer Fr. Fidelis Moscinski has been found guilty of violating the Freedom to Access Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act.
Yesterday Fr. Fidelis was convicted of the federal crime for a July 2022 “lock and block” rescue he conducted at a Planned Parenthood in Hempstead, New York. The priest is scheduled to be sentenced on April 24 and faces up to six months in federal prison.
Sign the petition to let Fr. Fidelis know you support him and are praying for him.
A Pennsylvania court issued a split ruling against a pro-life Franciscan priest and activist arrested after he entered an abortion clinic to help women choose life.
Father Christopher “Fidelis” Moscinski was found guilty of two misdemeanor charges and not guilty of a felony trespass and a misdemeanor resist, for participating in a Red Rose Rescue at a Planned Parenthood.
Fr. Moscinski entered the clinic on August 27, 2021 with red roses and pro-life literature ready to hand out to women and persuading them to choose life for their children.
Fr. Fidelis has participated in many Red Rose Rescues at abortion centers, and for this has been imprisoned multiple times.
He was also previously arrested for trying to save babies in Ohio in June 2021 and in New Jersey in January 2020.
After the court decision, Fr. Fidelis urged people to “continue keeping all pro-lifers anywhere who are facing charges, especially federal charges, in your prayers, and that God can bring some good out of this unjust persecution.”
Sign this petition today to let Fr. Fidelis know you stand with him and his heroic fight to save unborn lives from abortion.
Fellow pro-life activist and Red Rose Rescuer Will Goodman told LifeSite’s Jim Hale that the court’s ruling to drop one felony and reject another was a “big victory.”But the crackdown on pro-lifers continues!
Just recently the Biden administration targeted Fr. Fidelis and other pro-life activists for Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE) violation charges.
This same law was also used by the FBI to raid the home of pro-life Catholic dad Mark Houck last month.
It’s really a disgrace that in America pro-lifers are increasingly being attacked and persecuted simply because they stand for life.
Fr. Fidelis Moscinski needs your prayers and support now more than ever as he continues to fearlessly battle for the unborn.
SIGN THIS PETITION TODAY to tell Fr. Fidelis you stand with him and his courageous fight!
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Gov. Henry McMaster has since vowed efforts to work with the state legislature to fight the court’s ruling.
“Our State Supreme Court has found a right in our Constitution which was never intended by the people of South Carolina. With this opinion, the Court has clearly exceeded its authority. The people have spoken through their elected representatives multiple times on this issue,” tweeted Gov. Henry McMaster Thursday.
“I look forward to working with the General Assembly to correct this error,” McMaster added.
Lisa Van Riper, president of South Carolina Citizens for Life, slammed the decision, saying, “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.”
Kevin Hall, a lawyer representing the state Legislature, pointed out during prior hearings on the heartbeat law that regarding the right to privacy, abortion differs from medical treatments because it involves the interests of not just the mother, but of “the life of the unborn,” the Associated Press reported.
A 2022 Fall Trafalar Group poll has found that in addition to the 41 percent of South Carolina respondents who want state abortions wholly banned except when the life of the mother is endangered, or in cases of babies conceived in rape or incest, 19.7 percent believe abortions should be banned after a fetal heartbeat can be detected.
With the heartbeat law struck down, abortion is now only banned in South Carolina after 20 weeks of pregnancy.