U.S. District Judge Mary Lewis previously issued 2 restraining orders that halted the new Heartbeat Bill from becoming law, to allow parties in the law suite filed by Planned Parenthood South Atlantic and the Greenville Woman’s Clinic, to file briefs in the case.
Friday, Judge Lewis ruled that the Heartbeat Bill can not take effect for the foreseeable future. This injunction prohibits the Heartbeat Bill from taking effect until all appeals in the matter have been exhausted, this includes any appeals in the U.S. Supreme Courts. This process could prevent this law from being enforced for months or years depending on the rulings of the courts.
Judge Lewis stated that this law is unconstitutional due to the fact that is contradicts nearly 50 years of previous rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court, where it has been stated that a fetus can not survive outside the womb before 24 weeks. And that this case was not a “close call” case.
In the State of South Carolina nearly all abortions take effect within the first 12 weeks, even those where a heartbeat is detected.
At a recent hearing an attorney for the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office argued that in the past this law may have been held unconsititional, but with new more conservative Justices sitting on the bench at the U.S. Supreme Court this law may very well constitute a new majority which would see the Heartbeat Bill as Constitutional.
Judge Lewis’s ruling is 22 pages long where she wrote her opinion on the argument of U.S. Justices changing.
“We judges are not politicians in robes. Or, as Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts said: ‘We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges. What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them,”
Planned Parenthood and the Greenville Woman’s Clinic are two of the main providers of abortions in South Carolina.