Gov. Henry McMaster appeals preliminary injunction of Fetal Heartbeat Bill

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FILE (AP Photo/Sean Rayford, File)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – Governor Henry McMaster has appealed a preliminary injunction in the fetal heartbeat bill.

Gov. McMaster signed the Fetal Heartbeat Bill into law back in February after it was passed by the General Assembly and it was almost immediately halted by a federal judge.

Plaintiffs filed a lawsuit, claiming the law was unconstitutional.

In a press release Wednesday, Gov. McMaster announced he and “other defendants” appealed the federal district court’s preliminary injunction of the South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act (Fetal Heartbeat Act) to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

“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 Gov. 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.”

According to Gov. McMaster’s office, the appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit challenges the federal district court’s preliminary injunction order on two primary grounds and requests that the order be reversed and that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit 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.

In addition to appealing the preliminary injunction order, Governor McMaster and other defendants will continue to oppose this challenge and defend the merits of the Fetal Heartbeat Act at the district court level while the appeal is pending.

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