Demonstrations at State House during hearings on abortion rights

COLUMBIA SC (WOLO)–As the Senate Medical Affairs Committee heard testimonies from medical experts and speakers for and against abortion rights, demonstrators met outside to have their voices heard.

Planned Parenthood held a rally to watch today’s hearings as the organization continues its fight for abortion rights in South Carolina.

Vicki Ringer, the Public Affairs Director for Planned Parenthood, says the organization’s determination has only gotten stronger since Roe v. Wade was overturned.

“People in SC who believe that these decisions should be made only by women and their doctors, should call their legislators and let them know how they feel about abortion rights. Because we’re hearing and we see it in polling, that even people who are generally opposed to abortion believe that government should stay out of it — that this is a decision best made by women and their doctors,” says Ringer.

Ringer believes the bills being put forward by anti-abortion lawmakers are dangerous.

“It’s pretty Draconian and it has unintended consequences that go way beyond abortion. They’ve also seen examples from around the country, with people who have been raped and had to go out of state. Women forced to carry a dying fetus until they bleed out. Just such horrific circumstances,” says Ringer.

Members of the pro-life organization Students for Life of America, feel differently.

“It is my body my choice until it harms another, and there are two bodies when a woman is pregnant. There’s a baby and a mother, and we want both of them to have the right to life,” says Savanna Deretich.

“We believe in bodily autonomy for all women, for all human beings. For women inside and outside of the womb and just basic human life that needs to be protected,” says Jessica Newell.

But Ringer believes women should be able to make decisions over their own bodies. “And that’s all we’ve ever wanted is to let people decide what’s best for them,” says Ringer.

Later in the day, the South Carolina Supreme Court unanimously blocked the state’s ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.

Planned Parenthood South Atlantic SC responded on Twitter by saying, “We applaud the court’s decision to protect the people of South Carolina from cruel law that interferes with a person’s private medical decision.”

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