CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe V. Wade is drawing mixed reactions from South Carolina lawmakers.
The decision could give South Carolina’s current abortion law another chance to go into effect. The Fetal Heartbeat Bill was passed last year and signed into law by Governor Henry McMaster.
The law bans abortions if a heartbeat is detected, which could be as early as six weeks. Exceptions include, rape, incest or harm to the mother.
It was blocked by federal courts, however, that could change with the new ruling. Governor McMaster released the following statement:
“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.”
News 2 caught up with Lt. Governor Pamela Evette, who said she supports the bill.
“You know, South Carolina was very happy when the Heartbeat Bill was passed. I think we’ve heard for years that Roe v. Wade was a decision that should’ve never been legislated on the federal level, that healthcare was always a state-level issue,” said Evette.
South Carolina State Senator Marlon Kimpson had a different reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision. He said he believes this could be the first generation of women who have less rights than their grandmothers.
“Women deserve the right to make personal tough healthcare decisions on their own. This opinion will simply allow big government to make these very private and personal decisions for many families across the country,” said Kimpson.
A similar sentiment was shared by Representative JA Moore who called Friday a sad day in South Carolina. State Representative Krystle Matthews expressed concern as well.
“I’m frustrated that as women, we are still fighting for the right to control our bodily autonomy. I think that this decision is a slap in the face to so many of us,” Matthews told News 2.
Meanwhile, in Washington, Congresswoman Nancy Mace said she is planning to unveil legislation in July, revolving around family planning services and providing resources to women.
She said the Supreme Court’s decision puts the power back in the hands of the state where she said it rightfully belongs.
“Abortion was not outlawed; the court simply said this issue, this decision goes back to the state legislatures and also to congress to figure out,” said Mace.
State lawmakers could be called back to a legislative session as early as July to discuss further abortion laws, however many aren’t expecting that session to happen until late summer or early fall.