On Tuesday, forty-one men dictated their law on South Carolina’s wombs. Despite a fierce battle by the only five women in the local Senate, including three Republicans, abortion is now prohibited there after six weeks of pregnancy. Republicans had tried several times to pass this law in the upper house of this southeastern American state.
During the debates, Republican Sandy Senn accused her male colleagues of “symbolically slapping women by raising the issue of abortion again and again”. But the senators opposed to abortion finally gathered enough votes to vote for this measure. Before becoming law, it must be signed by Republican Governor Henry McMaster. But the latter made no secret of his intentions. “I can’t wait to sign this text to make it a law as quickly as possible”, he rejoiced on Twitter, judging that his state would thus protect “more innocent lives”.
South Carolina, surrounded by several states that have banned abortion, had become a refuge for women wishing to have an abortion since the Supreme Court unraveled the protection of the right to abortion. So much so that local Republican elected officials have made it an argument to defend its ban. The state has “become 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 decrease,” denounced Alexis McGill Johnson, president of the powerful family planning organization Planned Parenthood. This decision is all the more dangerous since, at six weeks of pregnancy, many women do not yet know that they are pregnant.