For Immediate Release: Thursday, January 28, 2021
South Carolina —Today, anti-choice lawmakers in the South Carolina state Senate passed an extreme and unconstitutional bill to ban abortion before many people even know they’re pregnant. The bill passed by a 30-13 vote and will now head to the state House of Representatives for consideration.
Nearly 7,000 South Carolinians have lost their lives to COVID-19, and over 427,000 cases have been reported in the last year. Republican state senators’ decision to make attacking reproductive freedom their top priority in the 2021 legislative session reflects an increasingly extreme Republican Party that couldn’t be more out of touch with the needs of its constituents — not to mention the 77% of Americans who support Roe v. Wade and the legal right to abortion.
Following today’s vote, NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue released the following statement:
“As thousands of South Carolinians struggle in the midst of a still-raging pandemic, Republicans in the state Senate remain hell-bent on denying people the fundamental freedom to determine their own lives, destinies, and futures. This bill isn’t just unconstitutional, it’s cruel—full stop. When abortion care is banned, lives are on the line. Politicians who claim to be ‘pro-life’ yet endanger the health and lives of their constituents to pursue an extreme ideological agenda are as hypocritical as they come. In their estimation, if the collateral damage happens to be the actual lives, health, and well-being of women and families, so be it.”
Recent polling of South Carolina voters in key state Senate districts 31, 33, and 41 found that a large majority (67%) of voters believe that abortion should be legal and that the government should not prevent a woman from making that decision for herself.
In South Carolina, 71% of women live in counties with no abortion clinic. With Roe in the crosshairs, the stakes for women, people who are pregnant, and families are higher than ever. South Carolina already has some of the most severe restrictions on reproductive freedom in the United States, which include forcing a pregnant person to wait 24 hours before they can access abortion care and subjecting people to mandatory biased counseling. These restrictions disproportionately harm BIPOC, low-income, and rural communities, and are part of a coordinated effort by the Radical Right to maintain white patriarchal control at all costs.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters have fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom—including access to abortion, contraception, and paid family leave—for every body. NARAL is powered by its more than 2.5 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 7 in 10 Americans who believe every person should have the freedom to make the best decision for themselves about if, when, and how to raise a family.