The US state of South Carolina has been cleared to enforce the state’s ‘heartbeat’ abortion ban. It outlaws most abortions after a baby’s heartbeat is detected around six weeks pregnancy.
The state’s Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the law from abortion providers and other plaintiffs. It ruled that the Court does not make policy determinations, explaining that “governments decide policy as a central feature of the separation of powers.” The Associated Press reports four of the five judges believed the State Assembly had a “compelling interest” in protecting the lives of unborn children.
Governor Henry McMaster says the ruling reaffirms South Carolina as one of America’s most pro-life states. At least 15 states have banned abortion outright, while several others severely restrict it.
Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers in neighbouring North Carolina have used their overwhelming majority to ban gender treatments for children under the age of 18. They overrode the veto of Democrat governor Roy Cooper.
The legislators said the state had a responsibility to protect children from receiving “irreversible procedures.” The law takes effect immediately, although legal challenges could put it on hold. CBN News reports it’s the 22nd state to enact such legislation.
North Carolina Republicans also overrode the governor’s veto of a bill limiting LGBT ideology in schools. Teachers must alert parents before they can call a student by a different name or pronoun. The same law bans teaching about gender identity and sexuality in lower grades, and stops biological boys from competing in girls’ sport.
The southern state of Alabama has been cleared to enforce a ban on puberty blockers and hormone treatments for children. A US Appeals Court has lifted a temporary injunction against the law which threatens doctors with jail time.
The judges ruled that states have a compelling reason to protect children from drugs, especially those where there’s uncertainty over their benefits. State Attorney General Steve Marshall welcomed the ruling as a “significant victory for children and for common sense.”
The Christian Post reports Alabama has already outlawed gender transition surgeries for minors. It’s one of 20 Republican states that have enacted laws banning or restricting ‘gender affirming’ care for minors. Most have been challenged in court, and several are still blocked from taking effect.