On Tuesday, the S.C. Supreme Court will hear legal arguments about the constitutionality of a law that bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. Does that sound familiar? That’s because it is. We’ve been here before.
S.C. legislators have been determined to ban abortion for the past year, following the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, which protected access to abortion for 50 years.
Legislators have fought with each other, rewritten the rules of debate at the Statehouse and neglected other priorities to force through a ban that South Carolinians don’t want.
As the executive director of the ACLU of South Carolina, I’ve watched our lawmakers long enough to know what this is about: control.
Legislators want to control our bodies and our lives. They want to take away the freedom to make our own decisions, to define our own path in life and to take care of our families.
They want to force their will upon us. And that’s exactly what they’re doing — forcing a bill on us that we don’t support.
A May Winthrop Poll shows that only 37% of South Carolinians support the abortion ban that Gov. Henry McMaster just signed into law.
The six-week abortion ban doesn’t only ignore the perspectives of South Carolinians; it also ignores the balance of powers that is so vital to our country.
Six months ago, the state Supreme Court struck down a six-week ban on abortion, ruling it unconstitutional.
So what did our lawmakers do? Uphold their oath to preserve, protect and defend the state constitution?
Of course not.
Our legislators changed the state Supreme Court, putting in place the only all-male court in the country.
And then they passed a nearly identical bill — another six-week abortion ban — all over again.
Is there nothing our lawmakers won’t do to force their views on everyone in this state?
Now the six-week ban is before our all-male state Supreme Court. I don’t know what will happen. But here’s what I do know:
This isn’t over. South Carolinians will fight back. We’ll tell our stories, we’ll organize, we’ll vote.
We won’t let politicians control our bodies and our lives, take away our freedom and force their way into our health care decisions — not without a fight.
Jace Woodrum is the executive director of the ACLU of South Carolina.