South Carolina Bans Abortion After Six Weeks, Limiting Access Drastically

By Le Figaro with AFP

Published update

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Abortion rights supporters react to the adoption by the South Carolina Senate of a law limiting abortion to six weeks of pregnancy. SAM WOLFE / REUTERS

South Carolina voted Tuesday, May 23 to ban abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, which drastically limits its access, despite a political battle against this text led by the only five women in the local senate, including Republicans.

Republicans had tried several times to pass this law in the upper house of this southeastern American state, composed mainly of men. They came up against the stubborn opposition of the five senators. Three of them, Republicans, had not hesitated to defy the instructions of their party. During the debates, Republican Sandy Senn accused her male colleagues of “symbolically slapping women by raising the issue of abortion again and again”.

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But the senators opposed to abortion finally gathered enough votes to vote for this measure. It will have important consequences on access to abortion because, at six weeks of pregnancy, many women do not yet know that they are pregnant. Before becoming law, it must be signed by Republican Governor Henry McMaster. But the latter made no secret of his intentions. “I look forward to signing this text to make it law as soon as possible”he rejoiced on Twitter, judging that his state would thus protect “more innocent lives”.

“The Abortion Capital of the Southeast”

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down constitutional protections for the right to abortion last June, leaving the States free to legislate on this subject. Since then, about fifteen have banned it on their soil. South Carolina, surrounded by several states that have banned abortion, had become a haven for women wishing to have an abortion. So much so that local Republican elected officials have made it an argument to defend its ban. The state is “became the capital of abortion in the Southeast”had for example regretted the senator Shane Massey.

For the same reasons, the vote was unanimously condemned by associations defending the right to abortion. “This is a devastating decision for the people of South Carolina, and for an entire region where access to abortion for patients continues to decline”, denounced Alexis McGill Johnson, president of the powerful family planning organization Planned Parenthood. However, she assured that politicians “wouldn’t have the last word”promising to take legal action.

2023-05-24 02:46:24

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