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Planned Parenthood South Atlantic v. State of South Carolina

Description:  Planned Parenthood is challenging South Carolina’s pro-life law that protects unborn children from the moment a heartbeat is detected.


A mother holding a baby
Friday, Oct 7, 2022

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel and Director of the ADF Center for Life Denise Harle regarding a friend-of-the-court brief ADF attorneys filed Thursday with the South Carolina Supreme Court in Planned Parenthood South Atlantic v. State of South Carolina on behalf of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists and Dr. Christine Hemphill, a South Carolina OBGYN, in support of the state’s law which protects unborn children from abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected:

“All human life is worth protecting—from conception to natural death. The OBGYNs we represent have a strong interest in preserving the life and health of unborn children and their mothers and upholding their oath to ‘do no harm.’ As we explain in our brief, South Carolina’s pro-life law relies on sound medical science and statistical evidence, which shows that a detectable fetal heartbeat reliably and overwhelmingly predicts a healthy live birth. With Roe’s overturn, South Carolina is eager to affirm life and prevent the obvious harms that abortion causes women and their children. The Fetal Heartbeat Act does just that by protecting the most vulnerable South Carolinians.”

ADF attorneys are working in 10 other states to defend pro-life laws, including Arizona, Iowa, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

  • Pronunciation guide: Harle (HAR’-lee)

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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ABOUT Denise Harle

Denise Harle serves as senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, where she is the director of the Center for Life. Prior to joining ADF, Harle served as deputy solicitor general in the Office of the Florida Attorney General, where she drafted appellate briefs and presented oral arguments on behalf of the state in a wide variety of constitutional cases, including defending the constitutionality of pro-life laws. In 2017, she participated in the prestigious Supreme Court Fellow program, sponsored by the National Association of Attorneys General. She clerked for Justice Ricky L. Polston on the Florida Supreme Court and worked for several years as an appellate litigator at a large firm in California. Harle earned bachelor’s degrees, summa cum laude, in psychology and interdisciplinary social science from Florida State University, a master’s degree in political science from Stanford University, and a Juris Doctor from Duke University School of Law. At Duke, she served as the executive editor of Law & Contemporary Problems. A member of the state bars of California, Florida, and Georgia, she is admitted to multiple federal district and appellate courts, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court.