We have some good news for South Carolinians: The state’s Supreme Court upheld its abortion ban last week, which means unborn babies cannot be aborted after a heartbeat has been detected, around six weeks. This week, the Supreme Court further cemented its decision, saying it refuses to reconsider the case.
For pro-life jurisprudence, and for South Carolina babies in the womb, this is a positive development. Unfortunately, you wouldn’t know that from the headlines.
The Associated Press’ wildly biased headline on the news reads, “South Carolina’s new all-male highest court reverses course on abortion, upholding strict 6-week ban.” The article focuses largely on the perspectives of Planned Parenthood and Chief Justice Don Beatty, who dissented from the court’s 4–1 decision. “But Beatty wrote that at six weeks, the fetus doesn’t exist yet—it’s still an embryo—and the heart doesn’t develop until later in a pregnancy,” the article says. “The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says it’s inaccurate to call such ‘cardiac activity’ a heartbeat.”
The obfuscation over a simple “heartbeat” and the rhetorical dance between “embryo” and “fetus” is nothing new. It’s important to note, however, that to argue against a 12-, 15-, or even 20-week ban, when few would deny a heartbeat, pro-abortion activists would likely find another argument to fit their narrative.
Shuffling on late-term abortion language
After Florida Governor Ron DeSantis told the story of a woman who survived a late-term abortion during the first Republican presidential debate, saying that Democrats support “abortion all the way up until birth,” former Biden press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted, “No one supports abortion up until birth.” She also said on MSBNC, “No one is rooting for late term abortions.”
Yet most Democratic politicians cannot name an abortion restriction they would support, as the party has become more radically pro-abortion.
It’s important to pay attention to the language surrounding the South Carolina abortion law, and the issue of abortion nationally. When states ban abortion in the early weeks, abortion advocates will argue against fetal personhood, stripping away the humanity and inherent dignity of preborn babies.
When it comes to abortions in the last trimesters, abortion advocates will say that it’s not happening or that it happens so rarely that it doesn’t matter. The Washington Post fact-check of the Republican debate, not bothering to respond to the argument that Democratic politicians largely support abortion up till birth, argued that “just 1.3 percent [of abortions take place] at 21 weeks or longer.” Using the Guttmacher Institute’s estimation of 930,160 total U.S. abortions in 2020, 1.3 percent of late-term abortions would suggest there are 12,092 babies aborted after 21 weeks annually.
South Carolina is in the right for defending the preborn—no matter what language pro-abortion advocates may use to convince voters otherwise.