Tonight, just days before the South Carolina primary, qualifying Democratic presidential candidates will meet in Charleston for one of the final primary debates of 2020. The candidates will have plenty of pressing issues to address on stage tonight — and one of those issues should be the threats to reproductive rights and health care in South Carolina.
Seventy-eight percent of South Carolinians oppose banning abortion — yet that’s just what Republican leadership has been attempting to do for years, with legislators proposing dangerous anti-abortion legislation that aims to limit or fully restrict access to safe, legal abortion in the state.The South Carolina Legislature has pushed some of the most restrictive abortion bans in the country — in 2019, anti-abortion lawmakers in the state House of Representatives passed one of the first bills banning abortion at six weeks, before most women even know they are pregnant. The bill is pending now in the state Senate.
And today, the United States Senate will vote on a bill introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) — who is up for re-election in November — that would ban abortion after 20 weeks, a bill he has sponsored since 2013. Despite support for keeping abortion safe and legal reaching an all-time high and there being no state in the country where making abortion illegal is popular, including South Carolina, this type of legislation is just the latest effort by anti-abortion politicians to spread misinformation and end access to abortion in America.
What’s more: Tonight’s debate in Charleston will be the last Democratic presidential primary debate before the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the first abortion case since Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch were confirmed. The case could defy precedent and make the protections of Roe v. Wade virtually meaningless, paving the way for states to effectively ban abortion for over 25 million people of reproductive age.
South Carolinians can expect to see politicians from Columbia to D.C. continue to double down on their attacks against reproductive freedom. Any Democratic candidate hoping to earn the support of South Carolinians should have a bold plan to protect and expand reproductive health care. That’s why Planned Parenthood Votes! South Atlantic, our supporters, and South Carolina voters will be watching closely to see if the moderators ask about abortion at tonight’s debate.
If you’d like to speak to a Planned Parenthood Votes! South Atlantic spokesperson leading up to the debate, please contact the Planned Parenthood Votes! South Atlantic Media Office at [email protected].