SC Supreme Court Upholds Extreme Abortion Law
Aug 23, 2023
Today, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that the 6-week abortion ban passed by the state’s General Assembly in May does not violate the state’s Constitution, which means that this extreme ban goes into effect immediately. The Court’s ruling today makes abortion illegal after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, except under very narrow circumstances. Of course, we’re sad and angry that the Court ruled to uphold a law that ultimately harms South Carolinians. When people can make decisions about their own reproductive health care, including whether and when to have children, they have more control over their health, education, economic security, and equality. This unfortunate decision is heartbreaking but the fight continues.
From WREN CEO Ann Warner: “We are outraged that the South Carolina Supreme Court has upheld this extreme and harmful law, which will put countless lives in jeopardy – here in South Carolina and across the region. It is particularly outrageous that this Court has overturned its own precedent, as they ruled this exact law unconstitutional earlier this year. We are gravely concerned about the impact that this law will have on the health and well-being of the people of this state, especially Black women, people with disabilities, and survivors of violence, who are already grossly underserved by the healthcare and legal systems in this state.”
Let’s be clear: Banning abortion at six weeks is effectively a total abortion ban in South Carolina. The average person doesn’t even know they’re pregnant until the fifth or sixth week of pregnancy. This leaves pregnant people with almost no time to make the decisions that affect their health and their family’s future.
A number of national polls, including one as recent as last month, have shown that the majority of Americans — two-thirds in fact — are against restricting access to abortion. That’s because they understand the terrible consequences of what happens when you do:
- SC already has an abysmal record for women and children’s health and restrictions like this only make that worse, especially for communities of color. The lack of access to OB/GYN care for our state’s women means our infant and maternal mortality rates are 35 percent higher than the U.S. average.
- Abortion bans also uniquely impact survivors of intimate partner violence. Having a child with an abusive partner tethers the pregnant partner to a threat, which is cruel and unjust.
- For some people with disabilities, pregnancy can convert a chronic condition into a life-threatening one. This law’s lack of clarity on life-of-the-mother exceptions in abortion bans is a danger to our citizens
WHAT COMES NEXT: This is far from the end. WREN and our network of like-minded partners and supporters will absolutely continue this fight to protect reproductive healthcare. Now, as ever, we need people to get involved.
- Take action by contacting your representatives on the phone, through email, and social media to let them know how this law is affecting their constituents. Take action here.
- Get involved in organizations that support access to reproductive healthcare like WREN and Planned Parenthood.
- Call your doctor to ask for healthcare resources. We have updated links on our website with information on how to get the care you need. https://www.scwren.org/abortion-access-resources/
We know this is exhausting and we hope you will continue to stay engaged with us knowing that we can make things happen together. Thank you!