The South Carolina Senate took one of the biggest steps against legal abortion we’ve seen in decades on Wednesday night, voting 28-10 to ban all abortions in the state except in the case of rape, incest, or the endangerment of the mother’s life.
The legislation is an add-on to a bill that will ban certain forms of “dismemberment abortion,” and it will need a second vote of approval before it can be moved to the State House of Representatives for further consideration. From there, it will go to the governor’s desk and potentially become the strongest anti-abortion law in the United States.
Abortion advocates have already threatened to file a lawsuit against South Carolina if that happens.
The only thing is: That’s exactly what conservatives want.
“It’s designed to give the court an opportunity to revisit Roe v. Wade,” state Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey said.
While it may be too early for such a challenge to have any possibility of success before the Supreme Court, it would only take one more Trump nominee to make the overturning of Roe v. Wade a legitimate possibility. So the time could be ripe to put these cases into the bloodstream of the judiciary. Even if there are no further changes to the Supreme Court, a reasonable law that cuts into the current abortion status quo could gain favor before the justices. After all, it’s been a long time since the Roe v. Wade decision, and while no anti-abortion law is going to get the vote of a single liberal, there’s always the chance that the court’s conservatives could see things differently than their 1960s counterparts.
For now, the bill is plenty controversial in its state of origin. Democrats are naturally opposed to the restrictions, but the interesting thing is that it was actually a Democrat who came up with the amendment in the first place. State Senator Brad Hutto (D-Orangeburg) proposed the legislation as a way to “get it to the courts so we don’t have to keep debating it over and over and over.”
So on this point, the state GOP and the Democrats are largely aligned. And in any event, South Carolina Republicans could hardly pass up the chance to vote on a piece of legislation THIS pro-life and face the voters on the campaign trail.
We’ll see how it plays out, but it would be pretty poetic if the court case that ultimately overturns Roe v. Wade came from legislation penned by a Democrat.