The Case for a Law Defining LIFE (which includes time in the womb)

by Diane Rufino, December 4, 2021

I have been reading the current abortion case that has come out of the state of Mississippi and which was heard in oral argument in front of the Supreme Court on Dec. 1, 2021. The case – Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Org – centers around a law that the Mississippi General Assembly passed – “The Gestational Age Act” or H.B. 1510) – designed to limit abortions and to protect the life and health of the mother and of course, to address the state’s interest in the life of the unborn. The suit was filed by the state’s only abortion clinic, alleging that the law violates the abortion rights of the women it serves. The case specifically addresses the “viability rule,” which was discussed and which formed a foundation of the ruling in Roe v. Wade (1973). Viability refers to the ability of a fetus to survive outside the womb (“becoming a viable human being”), which was taken to be approximately 24 weeks of gestation. Roe recognized the right of a woman to get an abortion, no questions asked, up until viability.

Today we recognize that Roe’s ‘viability line’ is arbitrary and in fact, in the face of the growing body of research and knowledge surrounding embryonic and gestational development, is offensive, cruel and unusual, and tortuous to the unborn baby.

Since 1973, there have been tremendous advances in medical and scientific knowledge, most importantly in studies that have confirmed that a developing fetus is clearly able to feel pain by 15 weeks of gestation and with the development of ultrasound technology (which allows expectant mothers to watch and monitor the growth and development of their unborn babies).

Here are the medical findings that support Mississippi’s law:

(1)  “Between 5-6 weeks of gestation, an unborn human being’s heart begins beating.

(2)  “An unborn human being begins to move about in the womb at approximately 8 weeks of gestation.”

(3)  “At 9 weeks of gestation, all basic physiological functions are present. Teeth and eyes are present, as well as external genitalia.”

(4)  “An unborn human being’s vital organs begin to function at 10 weeks of gestation. Hair, fingernails, and toenails also begin to form.”

(5)  “At 11 weeks of gestation, an unborn human being’s diaphragm is developing, and he or she may even hiccup. He or she is beginning to move about freely in the womb.”

(6)  “At 12 weeks of gestation, an unborn human being can open and close his or her fingers, starts to make sucking motions, and senses stimulation from the world outside the womb. Importantly, he or she has taken ‘the human form’ in all relevant aspects. Gonzalez v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124, 160 (2007).”

(7)  “The majority of abortion procedures performed after 15 weeks of gestation are dilation and evacuation (D&E) procedures which involve the use of surgical instruments to crush and tear the unborn child apart before removing the pieces of the dead child from the womb. The Legislature finds that the intentional commitment of such acts for non-therapeutic or elective reasons is a barbaric practice, dangerous for the maternal patient, and demeaning to the medical profession.”

(8)  “Abortion carries significant physical and psychological risks to the maternal patient, and these physical and psychological risks increase with gestational age. Specifically, in abortions performed after 8 weeks of gestation, the relative physical and psychological risks escalate exponentially as gestational age increases.

(9)  “As the second trimester progresses, in the vast majority of uncomplicated pregnancies, the material health risks of undergoing an abortion are greater than the risks of carrying a pregnancy to term.”

(10)  “Medical complications from dilation and evacuation abortions include, but are not limited to: pelvic infection, incomplete abortions (retained fetal tissue), blood clots, heavy bleeding or hemorrhage, laceration, tear, or other injury to the cervix, puncture, laceration, tear, or other injury to the uterus, injury to the bowel or bladder, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and other emotional or psychological problems. Further, in abortions performed after 15 weeks of gestation, there is a higher risk of requiring a hysterectomy, other reparative type surgery, or blood transfusion.”

H.B. 1510 would allow a pregnant woman to terminate her pregnancy before 15 weeks of gestation. But after 15 weeks, a pregnant woman can only get an abortion for a documented medical emergency or for a severe fetal abnormality. Mississippi asserts that it has the right, under the Tenth Amendment and as a federated and sovereign state, to regulate abortions and to further its interest in the health of the expectant mother and also in the new life that has been created in a woman’s womb. “It is troubling to Americans of good faith and conscience that federal courts, without any basis in constitutional text or original meaning can restrict the states in their ability and authority to regulate in the area of abortion [when there is express wording provided in the Tenth Amendment],” commented federal Judge Ho.

The federal district court held against the validity of “The Gestational Age Act” and sided in favor of the abortion facility, Jackson Women’s Health Org, rationalizing that under controlling legal precedent, Mississippi’s 15-week ‘viability rule’ is unconstitutional because it would “ban pre-viability abortions.”  (Mississippi, through its attorney general, is challenging Jackson Women’s Health’s ability to even bring the suit in the first place. It did not allege that the law violates their own constitutional rights, but rather it violates its clients’ rights. And that, according to the attorney for the state, Scott Stewart, presented a clear conflict of interest. The abortion clinic improperly hijacked the women’s rights as a means to overturn a regulation that burdens their business, their bottom line, by prohibiting late-term abortions).

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s ruling but had some serious criticisms of how it reached its conclusion and how it framed its rationale. Judge Ho said he was “deeply troubled by how the district court handled the case.” The district court’s opinion, he explained, “displays an alarming disrespect for the millions of Americans who believe that babies deserve legal protection during pregnancy as well as after birth, and that abortion is the immoral, tragic, and violent taking of innocent human life…. The district court’s opinion disparages the Mississippi legislature and smears Mississippi legislators by linking House Bill 1510 to the state’s tragic history of race relations while ignoring abortion’s own checkered racial past. It is troubling that that federal courts, without any basis in constitutional text or original meaning can restrict the states in their ability and authority to regulate in the area of abortion.”

So, in granting review to Mississippi and agreeing to hear the case, the Supreme Court opined that it is well past time for the Court to revisit the wisdom of the bright-line viability rule.

The Supreme Court granted certiorari to Mississippi, giving the state a chance to articulate its case before the high court. The reason it granted review is because the justices believe that there are “many good reasons to revisit the bright-line rule (of Roe) concerning viability of unborn life.”

In the important case of Gonzalez v. Carhart (2007), which addressed partial-birth abortion procedures, the Supreme Court recognized that an unborn child “is a living organism while within the womb, whether or not it is viable outside the womb.” As a result, the Court concluded, “the child is entitled to be respected for the dignity of its human life.”  Furthermore, in Gonzalez, the Court recognized that States have a legitimate interest in regulating abortion – in protecting the life and health of the mother and in protecting the life of the unborn.

What about viable alternatives to abortion?  Why does no one recognize that with a pregnancy, there are actually two lives. Why hasn’t any court recognized this, the most central issue at the heart of abortion?  The issue of alternatives to abortion was brought up repeatedly during oral argument by Justice Amy Coney Barrett, a Trump appointee:

“So petitioner points out that in all 50 states, you can terminate parental rights by relinquishing a child after [birth], and I think the shortest period might be 48 hours if I’m remembering the data correctly. It seems to me, seen in that light — both Roe and Casey emphasize the burdens of parenting. And insofar as you and many of your amici focus on the ways in which forced parenting, forced motherhood, would hinder women’s access to the workplace, and to equal opportunities, it’s also focused on the consequences of parenting and the obligations of motherhood that flow from pregnancy — why don’t the safe haven laws take care of that problem?

It seems to me that it focuses the burden much more narrowly. There is without question an infringement on bodily autonomy, for which we have another context like vaccines — however, it doesn’t seem to me to follow that pregnancy and then parenthood are all part of the same burden, and so it seems to me that the choice, more focused, would be between say the ability to get an abortion at 23 weeks, or the state requiring the woman to go 15, 16 weeks more, and then terminate parental rights at the conclusion. Why didn’t you address the safe haven laws and why don’t they matter?

Justice Barrett wasn’t satisfied with the answer that the attorney for Jackson Women’s Health gave. She raised the issue of adoption a second time: “Actually, as I read Roe and Casey (Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 1992), they don’t talk very much about adoption. It’s a passing reference that means out of the obligations of parenthood.

By raising this option, Barrett had taken direct aim at Casey, a decision that reaffirmed Roe while injecting an equality principle into the right to abortion by explaining that the burdens of parenthood diminished women’s personal and professional opportunities. She suggested that with the expansion of adoption in the US, the ruling in Casey is actually ripe for reversal.

What about states enacting laws to serve their own particular views on regulating abortion, such as a “definition of life” law that defines life as beginning at some point during gestation?  There are many different views on the right to have an abortion, including no right to an abortion, and shouldn’t each state, through their government and through the voice of the people, decide on the particular approach to take. I would argue that a perfect way to regulate abortion and to respect the life of the unborn is to ask the state legislatures to pass a bill that defines life, and defines it to include time in the womb. I’m not saying necessarily that life has to be defined at conception, as Roman Catholics believe, but there should be a reasonable point in gestation when the fetus has the necessary functions and features that define life. A sample “Definition of Life” Bill is provided below.

Roman Catholics believe that a new and unique human being is formed at the moment of conception when two independent cells (one from mom and the other from dad), incapable on their own of creating new life, merge to form a single fused cell with a distinct DNA identity and then becomes capable of growing into a unique new individual human being.

Who speaks for the unborn?  It must be the people and it must be the government, whose representatives take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence and all the values and principles they represent.

ReferenceDobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Org, petition to the Supreme Court to be granted a Writ of Certiorari –  chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/viewer.html?pdfurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.supremecourt.gov%2FDocketPDF%2F19%2F19-1392%2F145658%2F20200615170733513_FINAL%2520Petition.pdf&clen=32278337&chunk=true

NORTH CAROLINA “DEFINITION OF LIFE” ACT

SECTION 1.  DEFINITION OF LIFE.

(A)  Roman Catholics believe that life begins at the moment of conception. They believe that a new and unique human being is formed at the moment of conception when two independent cells (one from mom and the other from dad), incapable on their own of creating new life, merge to form a single fused cell with a distinct DNA identity and then becomes capable of growing into a unique new individual human being.

(B)  Whether or not a woman or under-age female believes she is carrying a “life” in her womb depends upon her state of mind: If she wants a baby and if she is happy to be pregnant, then she believes instinctively that she is already a “mother” and that what is growing inside her is definitely a new human life.  If she does not want to be pregnant, if she does not want to be a mother (for any of a number of reasons), then what she is going on in her womb is nothing more than a nuisance – just a growing mass of cells, without life. One believes in dignity and the other does not.

(C)  The bottom line is that a pregnancy, at least from a certain point in gestation, involves the life, the dignity, and the rights of two human beings. It cannot be just the right of the mother that carries the day and dictates what is to be done with the pregnancy and the life or death of the unborn. Morality, decency and humanity (and Biology as well) must require us to accept this and respect it.

(D)  The “viability rule,” as recognized by the outdated landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade (1973) refers to the gestational age at which a prematurely born fetus/infant has a 50% chance of long-term survival outside its mother’s womb. In Roe, “viability” was understood to mean 24 weeks of gestation. The ruling in Roe gave women the absolute right to an abortion, no questions asked, up until the 24-week-old mark. That viability line is arbitrary and unsound. In fact, in the face of the growing body of research and knowledge surrounding embryonic and gestational development, it is offensive, cruel and unusual, and tortuous to the unborn baby. As the State of Mississippi has alleged in its case before the Supreme Court (argued Dec. 1, 2021), “the time is ripe for the old rule of Roe v. Wade to be reversed.” And the Supreme Court justices, in granting review, indicated that they believe that there are “many good reasons to revisit the bright-line rule (of Roe) concerning viability of unborn life.”

(E)  In the whole discussion of abortion and unwanted or unplanned pregnancies, no one, and certainly not the Supreme Court or other federal court, has addressed a very important issue – alternatives to an abortion; the opportunity to preserve life while not being forced to be a parent.

(F)  All these issues being considered, it is a fair and honest assessment, based on genuine and accurate scientific research and studies, that a human life shall come into existence at 15 weeks of gestation. And as such, that unborn child will demand recognition, will be worthy of life and human dignity, will be endowed with inalienable, constitutional, and civil rights.

(G)  The State, having a vested interest in the life of the unborn child, just as it has an interest in all children, will act on its behalf and for its best interests.

SECTION 2:  FINDINGS.  The North Carolina General Assembly hereby finds, according to contemporary medical research, all of the following:

(1)  A fetal heartbeat begins at a biologically identifiable moment in time, normally when the fetal heart is formed in during the early weeks of gestation – between 5-6 weeks of gestation.  

(2)  An unborn human being begins to move about in the womb at approximately 8 weeks of gestation.

(3)  At 9 weeks of gestation, all basic physiological functions are present. Teeth and eyes are present, as well as external genitalia.

(4)  An unborn human being’s vital organs begin to function at 10 weeks of gestation. Hair, fingernails, and toenails also begin to form.

(5)  At 11 weeks of gestation, an unborn human being’s diaphragm is developing, and he or she may even hiccup. He or she is beginning to move about freely in the womb.

(6)  At 12 weeks of gestation, an unborn human being can open and close his or her fingers, starts to make sucking motions, and senses stimulation from the world outside the womb. Importantly, he or she has taken ‘the human form’ in all relevant aspects. [See Gonzalez v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124, 160 (2007).

(7)  By 15 weeks (if not earlier), an unborn human being can clearly feel pain.

(8)  The majority of abortion procedures performed after 15 weeks of gestation are dilation and evacuation (D&E) procedures which involve the use of surgical instruments to crush and tear the unborn child apart before removing the pieces of the dead child from the womb. The Legislature finds that the intentional commitment of such acts for non-therapeutic or elective reasons is a barbaric practice, dangerous for the maternal patient, and demeaning to the medical profession.”

(9)  Abortion carries significant physical and psychological risks to the maternal patient, and these physical and psychological risks increase with gestational age. Specifically, in abortions performed after 8 weeks of gestation, the relative physical and psychological risks escalate exponentially as gestational age increases.

(10)  “As the second trimester progresses, in the vast majority of uncomplicated pregnancies, the material health risks of undergoing an abortion are greater than the risks of carrying a pregnancy to term.”

(11)  As many as thirty percent of natural pregnancies end in spontaneous miscarriage.

(12)  Fewer than five percent of all natural pregnancies end in spontaneous miscarriage after the detection of a fetal heartbeat.

(13)  Over ninety percent of in vitro pregnancies survive the first trimester if a fetal heartbeat is detected.

(14)  Nearly ninety percent of in vitro pregnancies do not survive the first trimester if a fetal heartbeat is not detected.

(15)  A fetal heartbeat is a key medical predictor that an unborn human individual will reach live birth.

(16)  The State of North Carolina has legitimate interests from the outset of a pregnancy in protecting the life and health of the pregnant woman, the life of the unborn child who is developing inside her womb, and the integrity of the medical profession.

(17)  “Medical complications from dilation and evacuation abortions include, but are not limited to: pelvic infection, incomplete abortions (retained fetal tissue), blood clots, heavy bleeding or hemorrhage, laceration, tear, or other injury to the cervix, puncture, laceration, tear, or other injury to the uterus, injury to the bowel or bladder, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and other emotional or psychological problems. Further, in abortions performed after 15 weeks of gestation, there is a higher risk of requiring a hysterectomy, other reparative type surgery, or blood transfusion.”

(18)  In order to make an informed choice about whether to continue a pregnancy, a pregnant woman has a legitimate interest in knowing the likelihood of the human fetus surviving to full-term birth based upon the presence of a fetal heartbeat.

[These findings were accepted by the Mississippi state legislature, after consultation with medical professions. See reference provided]

 
SECTION 3.  DEFINITIONS. As used in this article:

(1)  “Conception” means fertilization.

(2)  “Contraceptive” means a drug, device, or chemical that prevents conception.

(3)  “Fetal heartbeat” means cardiac activity, or the steady and repetitive rhythmic contraction of the fetal heart, within the gestational sac.

(4)  “Gestational age” means the age of an unborn human individual as calculated from the first day of the last menstrual period of a pregnant woman.

(5)  “Gestational sac” refers to the structure that houses and encompasses the extraembryonic membranes that envelop the human fetus and that is typically visible by ultrasound after the fourth week of pregnancy.

(6)  “Human fetus” or “unborn child” each means an individual organism of the species homo sapiens from fertilization until live birth.

(7)  “Intrauterine pregnancy” means a pregnancy in which a human fetus is attached to the placenta within the uterus of a pregnant woman.

(8)  “Medical emergency” means a condition that, by any reasonable medical judgment, so complicates the medical condition of a pregnant woman that it necessitates the immediate abortion of her pregnancy to avert her death without first determining whether there is a detectable fetal heartbeat or for which the delay necessary to determine whether there is a detectable fetal heartbeat will create serious risk of a substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function, not including psychological or emotional conditions. A condition must not be considered a medical emergency if based on a claim or diagnosis that a woman will engage in conduct that she intends to result in her death or in a substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.

(9)  “Physician” means any person licensed to practice medicine and surgery, or osteopathic medicine and surgery, in this State.

(10)  “Reasonable medical judgment” means a medical judgment that would be made by a reasonably prudent physician who is knowledgeable about the case and the treatment possibilities with respect to the medical conditions involved.

(11)  “Spontaneous miscarriage” means the natural or accidental termination of a pregnancy and the expulsion of the human fetus, typically caused by genetic defects in the human fetus or physical abnormalities in the pregnant woman.

(12)  “Viability Rule” refers to the gestational age at which a prematurely born fetus/infant has a 50% chance of long-term survival outside its mother’s womb. In Roe v. Wade, “viability” was understood to mean 24 weeks of gestation.

SECTION 4.  REQUIREMENTS FOR ABORTION PROVIDERS

(A)  An abortion provider who is to perform or induce a legalized abortion, a certified technician, or another agent of the abortion provider who is competent in ultrasonography shall:

(1)  Perform an obstetric ultrasound on the pregnant woman, using whichever method the physician and pregnant woman agree is best under the circumstances;

(2)  During the performance of the ultrasound, display the ultrasound images so that the pregnant woman may view the images; and

(3)  Record a written medical description of the ultrasound images of the unborn child’s fetal heartbeat, if present and viewable.

(B)  If a pregnancy is at least eight weeks after fertilization, then the abortion provider who is to perform or induce an abortion, or an agent of the abortion provider, shall tell the woman that it may be possible to make the embryonic or fetal heartbeat of the unborn child audible for the pregnant woman to hear and shall ask the woman if she would like to hear the heartbeat. If the woman would like to hear the heartbeat, then the abortion provider shall, using whichever method the physician and patient agree is best under the circumstances, make the fetal heartbeat of the unborn child audible for the pregnant woman to hear.

(C)  Except as provided above in subsection (A), no person shall perform, induce, or attempt to perform or induce an abortion on a pregnant woman before a physician determines in accordance with subsection (A)(3) whether the human fetus the pregnant woman is carrying has a detectable fetal heartbeat.

(D)  A person who violates subsection (A) is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined ten thousand dollars, imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

(E)  Subsection (D) above does not apply to a physician who performs or induces an abortion if the physician determines according to standard medical practice that a medical emergency exists that prevents compliance with the section.

(F)  A physician is not in violation of this Section if the physician acts in accordance with its mandates and the method used to test for the presence of a fetal heartbeat does not reveal a fetal heartbeat.

(G)  A physician who performs or induces an abortion on a pregnant woman based on the exception provided in subsection (D) above shall make written notations in the pregnant woman’s medical records of the following:

(1)  The physician’s belief that a medical emergency necessitating the abortion existed;

(2)  The physician has determined that there is a fetal abnormality and has communicated that condition clearly to the pregnant women;

(2)  The medical condition of the pregnant woman that assertedly prevented compliance with Section (A) above; and

(3)  The medical rationale to support the physician’s conclusion that the pregnant woman’s medical condition necessitated the immediate abortion of her pregnancy to avert her death.

(G)  For at least seven years from the date the notations are made, the physician shall maintain in his own records a copy of the notations.

SECTION 5NO ABORTIONS ALLOWED FOR WITH THE SPECIFIC INTENT OF CAUSING OR ABETTING THE TERMINATION OF THE LIFE OF THE HUMAN FETUS.

(A)  Except as provided in Section 5 as to Exceptions to the plain meaning and spirit of this law, no person shall perform, induce, or attempt to perform or induce an abortion on a pregnant woman with the specific intent of causing or abetting the termination of the life of the human fetus the pregnant woman is carrying and whose fetal heartbeat has been detected in accordance with Section 4 (A).  

(B)  A physician may perform, induce, or attempt to perform or induce an abortion on a pregnant woman after a fetal heartbeat has been detected in only if:

(1)  The pregnancy is the result of rape, and the probable post-fertilization age of the fetus is fewer than twenty weeks;

(2)  The pregnancy is the result of incest, and the probable post-fertilization age of the fetus is fewer than twenty weeks;

(3)  The physician is acting in accordance with Section 4.

(4)  There exists a fetal anomaly, as defined in Section 4.

(C)  A physician who performs or induces an abortion on a pregnant woman based on the Exceptions articulated in Section 4 must report the allegation of rape or incest to the sheriff in the county in which the abortion was performed. The report must be made no later than twenty-four hours after performing or inducing the abortion, may be made orally or otherwise, and shall include the name and contact information of the pregnant woman making the allegation. Prior to performing or inducing an abortion, a physician who performs or induces an abortion based upon an allegation of rape or incest must notify the pregnant woman that the physician will report the allegation of rape or incest to the sheriff. The physician shall make written notations in the pregnant woman’s medical records that the abortion was performed pursuant to the applicable exception, that the doctor timely notified the sheriff of the allegation of rape or incest, and that the woman was notified prior to the abortion that the physician would notify the sheriff of the allegation of rape or incest.

(D)  A physician or other person who violates subsection (A) above is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined ten thousand dollars, imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

(E)  Subsection (D) above does not apply to a physician who performs a medical procedure that, by any reasonable medical judgment, is designed or intended to prevent the death of the pregnant woman or to prevent the serious risk of a substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman.

(F)  A physician who performs such a medical procedure as described above in subsection (E) shall declare, in a written document, that the medical procedure was necessary, by reasonable medical judgment, to prevent the death of the pregnant woman or to prevent the serious risk of a substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman. In the document, the physician shall specify the pregnant woman’s medical condition that the medical procedure was asserted to address and the medical rationale for the physician’s conclusion that the medical procedure was necessary to prevent the death of the pregnant woman or to prevent the serious risk of a substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman.

(F)  A physician who performs such a medical procedure as described in subsection (E) shall place the written document required by subsection (F) in the pregnant woman’s medical records. For at least seven years from the date the document is created, the physician shall maintain a copy of the document in his own records.

(G)  A physician will not be in violation of Subsection (A) if the physician acts in accordance with the aforementioned requirements and the method used to test for the presence of a fetal heartbeat does not reveal a fetal heartbeat.

SECTION 6.  ALTERNATIVES TO ABORTION SHALL BE PROVIDED.

A woman or underage female who is pregnant and does not want to continue with the pregnancy (ie, seeks to have an abortion) shall be provided with information to offer her possible alternatives to abortion, including but not limited to: adoption (closed or open), direct placement adoption, agency adoption, Christian adoption, asking the father to take legal rights to the baby, legal guardianship, religious counseling, peer counseling, and counseling from a pregnancy center.

SECTION 7.  LIMITATIONS OF THIS BILL.

(A)  Nothing in this article prohibits the sale, use, prescription, or administration of a drug, device, or chemical that is designed for contraceptive purposes.

(B)  A pregnant woman on whom an abortion is performed or induced in violation of this article may not be criminally prosecuted for violating any of the provisions of this article or for attempting to commit, conspiring to commit, or acting complicitly in committing a violation of any of the provisions of the article and is not subject to a civil or criminal penalty based on the abortion being performed or induced in violation of any of the provisions of this article.

SECTION 8.  WHO MAY BRING A CAUSE OF ACTION.

(A)  A woman who meets any one or more of the following criteria may file a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction:

(1)  A woman on whom an abortion was performed or induced in violation of this article; or

(2)  A woman on whom an abortion was performed or induced who was not given the information as required in Section 4.

(B)  A woman who prevails in an action filed pursuant to subsection (A) shall receive the following from the person or party which has been named as committing the act or acts

(1)  Damages in an amount equal to ten thousand dollars or an amount determined by the trier of fact after consideration of the evidence; and

(2)  Court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.

(C)  If the defendant in an action filed pursuant to subsection (A) prevails and the court finds that the commencement of the action constitutes frivolous conduct and that the defendant was adversely affected by the frivolous conduct, then the court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees to the defendant; provided, however, that a conclusion of frivolousness cannot rest upon the unconstitutionality of the provision that was allegedly violated.”

SECTION 9.  ENFORCEMENT.

A)  A court judgment or order suspending enforcement of any provision of this chapter is not to be regarded as tantamount to repeal of that provision.

(B)  If the United States Supreme Court finds in favor of the State of Mississippi in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Org. case (2021-22) and revisits the wisdom and utility of the bright-line “viability rule,” if it should otherwise issue a ruling overruling Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), if any other court issues an order or judgment restoring, expanding, or clarifying the authority of states to prohibit or regulate abortion entirely or in part, or should an amendment be ratified to the Constitution of the United States restoring, expanding, or clarifying the authority of states to prohibit or regulate abortion entirely or in part, then the Attorney General may apply to the pertinent state or federal court for either or both of the following:

(1)  A declaration that any one or more of the statutory provisions specified in subsection (A) are constitutional; or

(2) A judgment or order lifting an injunction against the enforcement of any one or more of the statutory provisions specified in subsection (A).

(C)  If the Attorney General fails to apply for relief pursuant to subsection (B) within a thirty-day period after an event described in that subsection occurs, then any solicitor may apply to the appropriate state or federal court for such relief.

References

“South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act” –  https://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess124_2021-2022/bills/1.htm

Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Org, petition to the Supreme Court to be granted a Writ of Certiorari –  chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/viewer.html?pdfurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.supremecourt.gov%2FDocketPDF%2F19%2F19-1392%2F145658%2F20200615170733513_FINAL%2520Petition.pdf&clen=32278337&chunk=true

A PREGNANT WOMAN’S RIGHT TO KNOW ACT

(A)  A pregnant woman seeking an abortion must be informed by the physician who is to perform the abortion (or by an allied health professional working in conjunction with the physician):

(1)  Of the exact nature of the procedure to be involved;

(2)  If there is a fetal heartbeat (and he/she must let the pregnant woman hear it, unless she refuses to hear it); and  

(3)  Of the probable gestational age of the embryo or fetus at the time the abortion is to be performed.

(B)  If an ultrasound is performed, an abortion may not be performed sooner than sixty minutes following completion of the ultrasound. The physician who is to perform the abortion or an allied health professional working in conjunction with the physician must inform the woman before the ultrasound procedure of her right to view the ultrasound image at her request during or after the ultrasound procedure.

(C)  If the physician who intends to perform or induce an abortion on a pregnant woman has determined pursuant to Section (A)(2) above that the human fetus the pregnant woman is carrying has a detectable fetal heartbeat, then that physician shall inform the pregnant woman in writing that the human fetus the pregnant woman is carrying has a fetal heartbeat.

(D)  The physician shall further inform the pregnant woman, to the best of the physician’s knowledge, of the statistical probability, absent an induced abortion, of bringing the human fetus possessing a detectable fetal heartbeat to term based on the gestational age of the human fetus or, if the director of the department has specified statistical probability information, shall provide to the pregnant woman that information. The department may promulgate regulations that specify information regarding the statistical probability of bringing an unborn child possessing a detectable fetal heartbeat to term based on the gestational age of the unborn child. Any regulations must be based on available medical evidence.”

(E)  A woman or under-age female seeking an abortionshall be provided with information to offer her possible alternatives to abortion, including but not limited to: adoption (closed or open), direct placement adoption, agency adoption, Christian adoption, asking the father to take legal rights to the baby, legal guardianship, religious counseling, peer counseling, and counseling from a pregnancy center.

(F)  If the reason for the abortion was other than to preserve the health of the pregnant woman, then the physician who is to perform the abortion must fill out a report specifying that maternal health was not the purpose of the abortion. This information must also be placed in the pregnant woman’s medical records and maintained for at least seven years thereafter.

About forloveofgodandcountry

I'm originally from New Jersey where I spent most of my life. I now live in North Carolina with my husband and 4 children. I'm an attorney
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1 Response to The Case for a Law Defining LIFE (which includes time in the womb)

  1. rubiescorner says:

    I love the picture of the baby in the womb. I haven’t always supported having a baby under some circumstances. I believe babies have a right to live and I am saying so. What if my parents had aborted me? I would be in Heaven with them.

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