Gov. McMaster appeals preliminary injunction of Fetal Heartbeat Bill

Published: Jul. 7, 2021 at 3:05 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 7, 2021 at 6:30 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Gov. Henry McMaster has appealed the federal district court’s preliminary injunction of the South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act.

McMaster, along with other defendants, appealed the injunction order to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit Court on April 2. The opening brief of that appeal was filed Wednesday.

“While the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to hear the case related to Mississippi’s law offers great hope and promise for protecting the lives of the unborn, we must defend South Carolina’s Fetal Heartbeat Act against every challenge at every level,” said McMaster. “As I’ve said before, the right to life is the most precious of rights and the most fragile. We must never let it be taken for granted or taken away. And we must protect life at every opportunity, regardless of cost or inconvenience.”

The appeal is challenging the order on two primary grounds and requests the order be reversed and the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals remand the case for dismissal.

The two primary issues argued in the filing are:

  • The plaintiffs in the case, which consist of abortionists and abortion centers operating in South Carolina, lack both third-party constitutional standing and statutory standing necessary to bring suit against the law, and;
  • The federal district court erred in enjoining the entirety of the Fetal Heartbeat Bill by disregarding the Act’s severability clause and erroneously imposing its own views of the Act’s purposes.

On February 18 McMaster signed the South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act into law. Two groups filed a lawsuit that same day asking a court to prevent its enforcement.

A federal district court issued a temporary restraining order on February 19 blocking the law and then extended it on March 5.

The court then issued the preliminary injunction on March 19.

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