SC Reaction to Roe vs. Wade overturned
The court's ruling will not make abortion illegal, but will no longer deem it as a constitutional right and allow states to implement bans on the procedure, with about half already publicly expressing interest in doing so.
Statement from Gov. Henry McMaster on Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization Ruling
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Henry McMaster today issued the following statement in response to the United States Supreme Court ruling of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization:
"Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a resounding victory for the Constitution and for those who have worked for so many years to protect the lives of the most vulnerable among us. By the end of the day, we will file motions so that the Fetal Heartbeat Act will go into effect in South Carolina and immediately begin working with members of the General Assembly to determine the best solution for protecting the lives of unborn South Carolinians."
Roe v. Wade overturned is a victory for life everywhere says South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Drew McKissick. Here's full statement:
"The Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is a victory for life everywhere. The pro-life movement has been working for decades to educate and motivate folks to stand for the unborn, and we'll continue to do just that in this new life after Roe. Today is further proof that elections have consequences. Who we elect as President matters because judicial nominations matter. And today, the highest court in the land ruled that life in the womb matters."
In a statement, Democratic gubernatorial nominee Joe Cunningham called the decision a “dark day in American history.”
“The four walls of a doctor’s office simply aren’t big enough for a woman, her partner, her doctor, and the government. But the government has decided to force themselves in anyway,” Cunningham said. “Governor McMaster and radical politicians in Columbia have already pledged to ban all abortions in South Carolina with no exceptions for rape, incest, or life of the mother. The only thing standing in the way of this draconian reality is my veto pen. As governor, I won’t hesitate to use that pen to stand up for women and their right to control their own bodies.”
State Attorney General Alan Wilson, in a statement, thanked the Supreme Court for “returning decision-making power to the people of each state.”
“I want to thank the Supreme Court for returning decision-making power to the people of each state. For almost 50 years, our country’s abortion policy was controlled by nine unelected judges. I have always thought Roe v. Wade was bad policy, was wrongly decided, and not supported by the Constitution,” Wilson’s statement read. “However, it’s important to remember that this ruling does not outlaw abortion nationwide, it simply allows the people of each state to decide. This office will continue to defend any law the General Assembly enacts in response to this decision. This ruling is a victory for life, the rule of law, and local decision-making. Human life is the most precious thing we have and our Founders sought to protect life, not destroy it.”
U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.-01) took to Twitter to praise the decision for returning the decision making to a state level.
“Today’s ruling returns power back to the states and power back to Congress on policies pertaining to life, where it rightfully belongs,” Mace said. “This ruling protects federalism inherent in our Constitution and also returns this power(sic) back to the ppl and those they elected to represent them.”
Mace went on to note the ruling “does not outlaw abortion” but “puts the decision with legislators, particularly state legislators, but also Congress.”
Mace’s opponent in November’s general election, Democrat Dr. Annie Andrews said, in a statement, she was “devastated and infuriated” with the decision.
“As a mother of two daughters, I am devastated and infuriated that they are now poised to grow up with fewer rights than my mother had,” Andrews said. “This is exactly what Nancy Mace’s Republican extremist party has spent decades fighting to accomplish. It is more important than ever to vote them out, NOW. With this ruling, it is now up to Congress to codify abortion rights into law. Even though I am running against a woman, make no mistake, I am the only woman in this race who will fight for Lowcountry women to make their own reproductive decisions without interference from extremist politicians.”
Rep. Duncan Celebrates the Reversal of Roe v. Wade
SC US Congressman Jeff Duncan of the Abbeville area of the Palmetto state issued the following statement to celebrate the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade and encourage the pro-life fight to continue as the question of abortion returns to the states:
“The Supreme Court’s decision to reverse Roe v. Wade is an answered prayer for the nation. Roe was an ‘egregiously wrongly decided’ decision that has tragically led to the death of over 60 million children in the womb since 1973,” said Congressman Jeff Duncan. “Overturning Roe is one of the most significant civil rights victories in our nation’s history and will result in countless lives being saved.”
“The very purpose of government is to protect our God-given natural rights, and the most fundamental of these rights is the right to life,” said Congressman Jeff Duncan. “With Roe being overturned, states have new opportunities to expand protections for the unborn. I encourage every state legislature, especially in South Carolina, to immediately move forward with pro-life legislation that will protect all children in the womb.”
“At the same time, we must be ever vigilant against attempts by Democrats to undermine this victory by enacting radical federal legislation that would legalize abortion to the point of birth and allow unborn children to be killed based on sex or disability. I will continue to fight for the rights of the unborn and protect the sanctity of life.”
U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman (SC-05) issued the following statement:
"Today is a historic moment for our nation, ending more than 49 years of heartbreaking federal precedent.
"In a 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court affirmed that its Roe v. Wade decision in 1972 was a mistake, calling that ruling 'egregiously wrong and deeply damaging.' Justices went on to say that 'Roe’s constitutional analysis was far outside the bounds of any reasonable interpretation of the various constitutional provisions to which it vaguely pointed.' I agree wholeheartedly.
"Today’s decision striking down Roe v. Wade does not ban abortions on the federal level, despite what some people claim. Instead, today’s ruling will simply allow states to handle the issue themselves, without federal interference, as should have been the case all along. This is outstanding news.
"When we celebrate pro-life victories like this, we should not do so in a way that causes emotional pain to those women who have had an abortion. Nor should we back down from being unapologetically pro-life.
"I believe that abortion as a matter of convenience or everyday birth control is wrong. I’m glad to live in a state where the majority of people feel the same, and am thrilled the Supreme Court has struck down Roe v. Wade, allowing states to chart their own path forward on this important issue. This is a fantastic day for our nation and for the Pro-Life movement!"
Check back on this developing story
South Carolina’s Fetal Heartbeart Act
In February 2021, McMaster signed the South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act into law. That same day, three abortion providers, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, the Greenville Women’s Clinic and Terry Buffkin MD filed a lawsuit challenging the law.
A federal district court in South Carolina immediately issued a preliminary injunction blocking the law.
Then in March 2021, U.S. District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis filed an injunction to prevent the law from being enforced while the litigation continued.
The law has continued to be tied up in the court system with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upholding the preliminary ruling from the lower court in Feb. 2022.
In March, McMaster called on the entire Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to review the decision to uphold the injunction.
On Friday, McMaster said he would “file motions so that the Fetal Heartbeat Act will go into effect.”
As written, the bill was said to prevent most abortions in the state. It would block doctors from performing an abortion when a fetal heartbeat is detected, which normally happens as early as about six weeks into a pregnancy. Doctors or healthcare providers who perform an abortion in violation of the law could face a felony charge with a $10,000 fine, two years in jail or both.
Critics of the measure argued that six weeks is about the time some women learn they are pregnant.
The bill includes exceptions for rape, incest, fetal anomalies and threats to the health of the mother. The bill also stipulates that doctors must give the sheriff the patient’s contact info within 24 hours if an abortion is performed on a woman who was pregnant as a result of rape or incest.
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