Legislative Update

S.C. Supreme Court Sets Oral Arguments
Following a decision by a majority of this Court that the Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act, S.C. Code Ann. §§ 44-41-610 to -740 (Supp. 2022) (the 2021 Act), was unconstitutional, the South Carolina General Assembly revised the 2021 Act and enacted 2023 S.C. Acts No. 70 (the 2023 Act).  The Governor signed the 2023 Act into law on May 24, 2023.  On May 26, 2023, the circuit court granted Respondents’ motion to enjoin enforcement of the 2023 Act pending their action to declare the 2023 Act unconstitutional.  Appellants have now filed an emergency petition for supersedeas with this Court asking it to supersede the injunction issued by the circuit court.  Appellants further seek to transfer the case to this Court for resolution.
The petition for a supersedeas is denied.  We do transfer the matter to this Court for final resolution and expedite the briefing schedule as follows: The parties shall agree on all matters to be included in an Appendix by 5:00 p.m. on June 9, 2023.  Appellants shall serve their brief(s) on Respondents by 5:00 p.m. on June 14, 2023.  At the same time, Appellants shall file eleven copies of their brief(s) and eleven copies of the Appendix with this Court, along with proof of service, with one copy of the brief and one copy of the Appendix filed unbound.  Respondents shall, by 5:00 p.m. on June 20, 2023, serve Appellants with their brief(s) and file with this Court eleven copies of their brief(s), along with proof of service, with one copy of the brief(s) filed unbound.  Any reply briefs shall be served and filed in the same manner as above by 5:00 p.m. on June 23, 2023.  Oral argument will be held at 9:30 a.m. on June 27, 2023. 
While it is disappointing the Court chose to leave the injunction in place until they render their decision, it is very encouraging to know the question of life in South Carolina will not be drawn out over months or even years. 
Two of South Carolina’s abortion clinics have recently been forced to add additional hours in order to handle the number of abortions (many, if not most from out of state).
Please pray that God will move in the hearts of our SC Justices and they will uphold the constitutionality of S474, the Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act.  Again, it is not a perfect bill but it will reduce the number of abortions by two-thirds and end South Carolina’s dubious distinction of being the only abortion destination state in the Southeast.  It represents a good beginning for the protection of life in the womb.  You can read the full text of the Court’s order here:
He must increase, I must decrease
Dr. Tony Beam
Director of the Office of Public Policy
South Carolina Baptist Convention

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