South Carolina’s All Male Supreme Court Upholds Six Week Abortion Ban

The only all-male court in the United States has just voted to uphold a 6-week ban on abortion after managing to replace the lone woman judge.

South Carolina’s all-male Supreme Court has ruled 4-1 in favor of the state’s 6-week abortion ban, which rules abortion out before many women even know they are pregnant. Chief Justice Beatty was the dissenting vote.

“The continued erosion of legal abortion access across the U.S. South comes after Republican state lawmakers replaced the lone woman on the court, Justice Kaye Hearn, who reached the state’s mandatory retirement age,” the AP pointed out in response to this news. Hearn, of course, wrote the majority opinion in the earlier South Carolina Supreme Court’s ruling against the ban, citing the right to privacy.

But now that she’s been replaced and the court is all male, Justice John Kittredge admitted that the law infringes on “a woman’s right of privacy and bodily autonomy,” but in the end, they determined that the rights of women and girls to live are not as important as the right of a fetus, writing, ” the legislature explained the 2023 Act ‘took into consideration the interests of the pregnant woman and balanced them against the legitimate interest of the State to protect the life of the unborn,’ the latter interest of which the legislature characterized as ‘compelling.’”

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) wrote of a different cardiac activity bill in 2017, “Whether a fetus is viable is a medical determination and occurs much later in pregnancy.” Bills like this increase negative health outcomes and complications, including maternal and infant mortality: ” Moreover, complications that threaten the woman’s health and serious fetal anomalies cannot be detected until later in pregnancy. Decreasing women’s access to abortion will likely increase negative health outcomes and complications, including maternal and infant mortality.

This isn’t hyperbole.

“I wanted to address my senators, Cruz and Cornyn,” Texas resident Amanda Zurawski said. “I would like for them to know that what happened to me is a direct result of the policies they support. I nearly died on their watch and I may have been robbed of the opportunity to have children in the future.”

A woman in rural Oklahoma had a molar pregnancy that wasn’t viable and became cancerous. She was forced to wait for medical care in the parking lot of the hospital as staff told her, “They said, ‘The best we can tell you to do is sit in the parking lot, and if anything else happens, we will be ready to help you. But we cannot touch you unless you are crashing in front of us or your blood pressure goes so high that you are fixing to have a heart attack.’”

And these stories are just the women who brave the threats and harassment that come with telling their stories. We know there are so many others suffering needlessly, who are afraid to come forward.

It’s become clear that Republicans are not being upfront about the beliefs behind these laws, as they have simultaneously banned a law that would have blocked child marriage in West Virginia while Louisiana Republicans voted down rape and incest exceptions to their abortion laws.

The Louisiana bill was written by Representative Delisha Boyd of New Orleans, who said, “If we are really pro-life, we have to be concerned with the children. The children who are conceived in trauma, born into trauma, and then lived in trauma.”

In fact, “Rape survivors, advocates, and even a doctor who said her 14-year-old pregnant patient had been raped by her uncle, all testified in favor of the bill. But opponents said an abortion after rape adds insult to injury.”

That doesn’t even make sense. There is no logic to the Republican position because it clearly isn’t about “life” since the life of the woman or girl is being callously disregarded. It’s not even about pregnancy as safe pregnancies are not being pushed.

Maternal death from pregnancy is startlingly high in the United States, more than ten times that of other high-income countries, but so is the death from homicide among pregnant women.

Homicide is actually “a leading cause of death in pregnant women in the US. Women in the US are more likely to be murdered during pregnancy or soon after childbirth than to die from the three leading obstetric causes of maternal death (high blood pressure disorders, hemorrhage, or sepsis), say experts in The BMJ today.

What’s behind these homicides? “‘A shocking situation linked to a lethal combination of intimate partner violence and firearms,’ say experts.”

So, the very people putting women’s lives in jeopardy over claimed concerns about “life” are actually putting women’s lives at risk in more ways than just bad pregnancy outcomes that might result in death or health issues. These same people are pushing for unregulated firearms.

Do we see laws coming from these people protecting women and girls from stalkers and even from their own husbands? No. Do we see laws from them pushing for safe gun legislation? No. In fact, many of them push to let abusers have/keep their guns.

In 2019, “Given the choice between preventing women from being murdered by their partners, or fighting for domestic abusers to keep their guns, Republicans overwhelmingly sided with domestic abusers.” That was hardly a one-off, as Republicans are continuing that push now.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that abusers have a constitutional right to their guns.

Abusers don’t just kill women, either. Very often, children are the target. So you’d think people who care this much about a fetus would want to protect born children. But no.

In fact, the Supreme Court is set to hear a case on this very issue this fall. “The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a case that could allow people who are found to pose a credible threat of violence against their partner or child to retain the right to own and use guns.”

Republicans are (unwittingly? they know by now) incentivizing rapists and abusers by giving them even greater control over women by raping them. Rape is not a sexual act; it is an act of violence and control. Now a rapist can control a woman’s entire life just by impregnating her. He can even jeopardize her very life if she’s in a state where she can’t get medical care.

The candidates’ anti-abortion stance is sure to be a topic in Milwaukee during Wednesday’s Republican presidential debate, especially after the conservative-led Supreme Court overturned the federal right to abortion over a year ago. Republican Governor Ron DeSantis already signed a 6-week abortion ban in his state of Florida.

As you watch the Republican presidential debate tonight, this is really all you need to know about any of the candidates on the stage. They, too, would kill women and girls while advancing anti-healthy infant and mom programs and putting women and girls in the line of fire, literally, while parading around as if they hold some kind of moral high ground on the issue of “life.”

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