By Holly Gatling, Executive Director, South Carolina Citizens for Life
On Wednesday, June 8, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is scheduled to hold a ceremonial signing of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act at a special education school in Taylors, South Carolina. The significance of this location cannot be overstated. This school called Hidden Treasures takes care of students with multiple kinds of disabilities, many diagnosed when they had reached 20 weeks of pre-birth development.
Symbolically we are saying that the lives of these children matter to our society, although not to the abortion industry. A local late term abortionist complained in the media that he was not consulted during the drafting of the legislation. That is correct. The law was drawn to protect unborn children, not abortionists.
More than a quarter of a century after South Carolina lawmakers passed the first pro-life bill — a bill requiring parents to provide consent for abortion for underage girls — the number of abortions occurring in our state has been slashed by 59 percent. These laws regulated the abortion industry but did not outlaw abortion at any state.
This year, however, is a ground-breaking year for the Palmetto State’s pro-life movement because for the first time since 1973, we have ended abortion on demand.
Despite the careless, even reckless reporting of most of the state’s institutional media which falsely insisted abortion is illegal after 24 weeks of pregnancy, the fact is that until May 25 (when Gov. Haley formally signed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act), abortion on demand was legal throughout pregnancy and for any reason.
In the infamous 1977 case of Floyd v. Anders, the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals held that an abortionist accused of aborting a 25-week old fetus who lived 21 days could not be prosecuted for murder. The “right of the mother to rid herself of an unwanted fetus,” the court said, “is comparatively unfettered.” That is no longer the case.
Now the General Assembly and the Governor have created a compelling state interest in protecting the lives of unborn children capable of feeling pain. That is scientifically known to be 20 weeks after fertilization — if not younger.
An average of 40 unborn children each year 20 weeks or older, are aborted, mostly at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, S.C.
Our goal is to pass every law that saves every baby who can be saved until Roe is overturned. That is the goal of the National Right to Life Committee whose genius legal minds have crafted laws such as the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act (South Carolina was the first state in the nation to enact the law); the Parental Consent Act; and other laws in place in many states. Collectively, these and other laws have affected a dramatic decline in the number of abortions occurring in our states and in our nation.
These are not “dreamed up restrictions” on women, as the abortion industry and its shills like to claim. These laws save hundreds of thousands of babies’ lives and protect their mothers. Next we will attempt to stop the savage practice of dismembering unborn children.
South Carolina Citizens for Life is proud to join 13 other states in recognizing the compelling state interest in protecting the lives of pain-capable unborn children. South Carolina Citizens for Life is also very proud of our General Assembly and Governor Haley.