Whatever personal assurances Sen. Susan Collins thinks she has gotten aside, the rest of America’s conservatives seem quite confident that the new Trump-touched Supreme Court, with the additions of Justice Collusion and Justice Sexual Assault, are preparing to overturn Roe v. Wade, allowing states to criminalize abortion and establish putative measures against American women who would seek it.
Two new bills by South Carolina Republicans seek to take the fight to the Court sooner, rather than later. State Rep. Josiah Magnuson has introduced a “personhood” bill declaring that human life, and therefore legal protections, begins at conception (but, curiously, still exempts in-vitro fertilization, which suggests that the extremist declaration is considerably more fungible than one might expect, if the author truly believed it in the first place).
And State Sen. Richard Cash’s bill makes having an abortion, as well as performing one, a state felony. Women who seek an abortion in South Carolina may, under Cash’s bill, face imprisonment unless she or her doctors can prove to the state that it was done as “medical emergency.”
This is all both 1.) spectacularly batshit crazy and 2.) a deeply unpopular stance among voters. But South Carolina Republicans will seek to railroad it through anyway; Republican Gov. Henry McMaster is vowing to sign those or similar bills. It will be up to State Senate Democrats to block those efforts again, as they did with a similar effort last year.
It’s worth noting that the two authors themselves know the rank extremism of their bills. That is why Magnuson carved out an exception for in-vitro fertilization despite such a stance being nonsensical, if he truly believed the rest of his premise. And that is why Cash attempted to mutter and bluster his way through the plain question of whether his bill would indeed indict, prosecute, and jail South Carolina women who sought the procedure.
“There is no doubt that many woman are pressured (into having an abortion),” Cash said. “They’re coerced. They’re intimidated. They’re literally threatened. … But if we say a mother is simply a victim … then we, in fact, are denying … moral responsibility to someone for their decision.”