COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD)- The Supreme Court ruled Friday to overturn Roe v Wade, ending constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place for five decades.
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said the state will file motions by the end of the day to enact the “Fetal Heartbeat Act” that he signed in 2021, but was blocked in federal court.
“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,” Gov. McMaster said.
Attorney General Alan Wilson also released a statement, saying “I want to thank the Supreme Court for returning decision-making power to the people of each state. For almost 50 years, our country’s abortion policy was controlled by nine unelected judges. I have always thought Roe v. Wade was bad policy, was wrongly decided, and not supported by the Constitution.”
Wilson went on to say that to explain that this ruling delivers power to the states and “this office will continue to defend any law the General Assembly enacts in response to this decision.”
Chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party Drew McKissick called the SCOTUS decision “a victory for life everywhere.”
“The pro-life movement has been working for decades to educate and motivate folks to stand for the unborn, and we’ll continue to do just that in this new life after Roe,” McKissick said. “Today is further proof that elections have consequences. Who we elect as President matters because judicial nominations matter. And today, the highest court in the land ruled that life in the womb matters.”
Senator Lindsey Graham celebrated the ruling as a “long overdue constitutional correction” and applauded former President Donald Trump for “nominating conservative justices.”
Sen Graham’s statement reads, in part:
“Roe was Constitutionally unsound from its inception as the flawed legal theory behind the decision gives unlimited power to five unelected Supreme Court justices. I believe it was one of the largest power grabs in the history of the Supreme Court. Under the Roe theory, almost anything could be a constitutional right depending on the views of five justices on substantive due process. The issue of life will now be decided by elected officials in the states, the same way the issue was handled until 1973. Simply stated, this decision represents a constitutional reset. On this historic day, I cannot help but think of dear old friends like former Congressman Henry Hyde. He and many others worked so hard to protect the unborn, and today their dream came true.”
Former Governor Nikki Haley also celebrated the decision in a statement:
“This is a historic win for the pro-life movement. It’s an even bigger win for the American people. It puts the debate back where it belongs—at the state level, closest to the people. My hope is that there is a renewed commitment from elected lawmakers to support and protect mothers and their pre-born babies.”
Congresswoman Nancy Mace (SC-01), who is currently seeking re-election, praised the ruling for returning “power back to the states & power back to Congress.”
On social media, Mace said in part: “This ruling protects federalism inherent in our Constitution & also returns this power back to the people & those they elected to represent them.”
Rep. Mace’s opponent for the First Congressional District seat Dr. Annie Andrews said she was “devastated and infuriated” by the SCOTUS decision.
“As a mother of two daughters, I am devastated and infuriated that they are now poised to grow up with fewer rights than my mother had. This is exactly what Nancy Mace’s Republican extremist party has spent decades fighting to accomplish. It is more important than ever to vote them out, NOW. With this ruling, it is now up to Congress to codify abortion rights into law. Even though I am running against a woman, make no mistake, I am the only woman in this race who will fight for Lowcountry women to make their own reproductive decisions without interference from extremist politicians,” Dr. Andrews said.
Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Joe Cunningham called Friday “a dark day in American history” and promised to use his veto pen “to stand up for women and their right to control their own bodies” if elected Governor.
“The four walls of a doctor’s office simply aren’t big enough for a woman, her partner, her doctor, and the government. But the government has decided to force themselves in anyway. Governor McMaster and radical politicians in Columbia have already pledged to ban all abortions in South Carolina with no exceptions for rape, incest, or life of the mother,” Cunningham said in a statement.
State House District 117 Rep. Krystle Matthews, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, released the following statement:
“F— them! Restrictive laws will not impact the number of abortions in America but will impact the number of safe abortions. Women are not objects to be controlled. This is exactly the time that women must rally together. We must codify a woman’s right to choose. The ‘kill them later coalition’ will not prevail. They want to force their policy to ‘birth them now and provide no support for them later.’ Today’s decision was the last straw. I am mad as hell and I am ready to do something about it.”
Other State House representatives also weighed in on the decision. District 15 Rep. JA Moore said the decision is an “attack on liberty and justice and it opens the door to repealing the civil rights we’ve worked toward for centuries.”
House Democratic leader Todd Rutherford (D-Richland) weighed in on current efforts within the state legislature to pass a total abortion ban saying, “there’s already a committee in place to make this happen.”
“We will be called back into session this year to vote on an abortion ban, and with Republicans in control, it will likely pass,” Rep. Rutherford continued in a tweet. “The current reality is grim, but Democrats will continue to fight like hell to protect a woman’s right to a legal, safe abortion.”
*EDITOR’S NOTE: This post will be updated as more reactions come in.