COLUMBIA, S.C. – Karen Dudley-Culbreath, interim executive director of the ACLU of South Carolina, today issued the following statement regarding the recent Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade:

“Today’s Supreme Court final ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overruling Roe v. Wade (Roe) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, amounts to an assault on the rights of women, effectively relegating them to second-class status. This decision will force countless people to remain pregnant and have children against their will, resulting in the criminalization of essential health care throughout our country.

“Even while Roe was technically intact, restrictions in South Carolina pushed abortion out of reach: state-directed counseling madates, unnecessary waiting periods, and an enjoined six-week ban were among the onerous restrictions instigated by politicians advocating forced preganancy. With this Supreme Court decision, we will now see a new assault on the rights of South Carolinians to their own bodily autonomy.

“Abortion is health care, and ultimately it will be the most vulnerable South Carolinians who will be harmed the most – people who live in rural areas, victims of sex traffiking and rape, young people, and people with low incomes. Forcing people to carry pregnancies to term at the risk of their own lives and against their will is dangerous and abortion should be accessible to all.

“The elimination of this constitutional right, which has been law of the land for 50 years, is just the beginning, with politicians making it clear that they are not done with their assault on our liberties. These same politicians who seek to control our bodily autonomy through forced pregnancy are poised to impose their will by challenging the right to birth control and the right to marry whomever you love–and even the right to vote. No right or liberty is secure in the face of a Supreme Court that would reverse Roe.  

“The ACLU fought for abortion rights before they were recognized by the Court, and we are not deterred from this fight by today’s decision. We will be there every step of the way fighting for our rights, including the power to decide for ourselves if and when to have a child.”