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South Carolina "Sister Senator" In opposition to the abortion ban bill

The South Carolina Senate passed a bill Tuesday after months of wrangling Prohibits abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. The bill contains some exceptions, including rape and molestation provisions that are available for up to 12 weeks.

Governor Henry McMaster said he would sign the bill as soon as possible. Once signed into law, Virginia will be the only state in the South to have relatively unrestricted access to abortion — up to 26 weeks of pregnancy.

The state Senate’s only five women, who call themselves “sister senators,” rallied to oppose the six-week ban, which one Republican said was “about the control of women.”

Republican Sen. Sandy Sen said with tears in her eyes, “I cried this morning, actually, — I feel like there’s so much weight on our shoulders, not just for South Carolina, but for Florida, Georgia, the Southeast.”

“We’re all women. We’re all mothers. And, you know, it’s a very strong bond,” said independent Sen. Mia McLeod.

“Never before in our state’s history have we had five women serve together,” McLeod added. “I agree (women) are stronger than ever. But we need help.”

Democratic Sen. “I want to think South Carolina can be a beacon for the fact that, yes, you can find common ground with people on the other side of the aisle,” says Margie Bright Matthews.

Sen said she felt that “if we had three more women in addition to the Democrats, we would have been able to hold it.”

Republican Sen. Katrina Shealey concurred, saying, “We’re going to have to fight harder to keep our seats and keep the women we have and get more women in our Senate.”

Republican Sen. Penry Gustafson said his message to the country is “You don’t have to be ugly to push your platform, push your beliefs, push your laws. It doesn’t have to be controversial.”

Asked if he was optimistic, McLeod said, “Yes, I am. Absolutely. We are warriors. We are all here because we are not afraid to fight.”

The fox agreed. “Nobody got here easy,” she said.

“We live to fight another day,” said Democratic Sen. Margie Bright Matthews.

The fight over abortion

More Caitlin Huey-Burns


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