Clyburn, a Democrat, responded on social media to the news that a draft of the court's highly anticipated ruling on abortions rights has been leaked to Politico, an online political news website.
The draft (a final opinion isn't expected for several more weeks) is written by Justice Samuel Alito, a Republican appointee who's long been opposed to abortion. In the document, he argues there is no Constitutional right to the procedure, something that has been the guiding principal of the court ever since the landmark Roe vs. Wade ruling in 1973. The ruling, if it becomes final, would leave abortion's legality to individual states or Congress.
"For 49 years, women have had the constitutional right to make choices about their body," Clyburn wrote in response to the ruling. "The whole notion of politicians controlling those decisions is beyond the pale. It ought to be alarming to us."
"We have seen #SCOTUS gut voting rights. Other decisions like Brown v. Board [desegregation of schools], Loving v. Virginia [allowing interracial marriage] and Obergefell v. Hodges [upholding same sex marriage] could hang in the balance."
"History teaches us that if a thing has happened before, it can happen again."
"We must fight to reclaim rights that have been lost and defend rights that are in danger."
On Tuesday, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the leaked draft is authentic and ordered an investigation into how it made it online. This is believed to be the first time a draft opinion has become public.
Republican South Carolina politicians are receptive to the conclusions of the draft document, although they are expressing anger that the decision leaked. Sen. Lindsey Graham said the breach of protocol was a "dangerous day for the rule of law" but he said he agrees that abortion should be a state's issue.
"i will be very pleased with it," said Gov. Henry McMaster when asked if this turns out to be the final ruling. "The current law, I believe--and always have-- does not have a basis in the U.S. Constitution, in my opinion."
In 2021, South Carolina passed a fetal heartbeat law that outlawed abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which is roughly six weeks into a pregnancy.. That's usually before a woman knows she's pregnant.
That law was stayed and is in appeal. If this ruling finds there is no federal right to an abortion, however, South Carolina's law goes into effect.