Leaders of the pro-life movement in America commonly believe that the only constitutionally sound strategy for restoring the right to life is to take action at the national level. Thus, they have urged the election of pro-life presidents and members of Congress to secure the appointment of pro-life Supreme Court justices, and if necessary, a pro-life amendment to the United States Constitution. There is, however, an alternative strategy available at the state level, without overruling Roe v. Wade and its progeny.
The right to an abortion recognized in Roe v. Wade is based upon the court’s ruling that the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee the right to life of an unborn child. If a state constitution provides a more expansive right to life, including the right to life from the moment of fertilization or conception, then the right to an abortion no longer exists.
In South Carolina, a recent legislative effort was made to recognize the existence of such a right to life. Although the bill failed to get out of subcommittee, it constitutes the first step in a new strategy to restore the right to life of the most innocent among us. It was Herb Titus’s privilege to provide the legislature with testimony on the legality of such an approach.