Columbia, SC (WLTX) - After the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Monday striking down a 2013 Texas abortion law, groups around the country came together for rallies in celebration of that 5 to 3 decision.
In Columbia, Planned Parenthood of South Carolina held a rally just outside the South Carolina Supreme Court.
Advocates consider the ruling a huge win for women's healthcare and reproductive rights in every state. "For the first time in over two decades, the Supreme Court has said once again that states cannot pass laws that interfere with a woman's right to a legal and safe abortion," said Vicki Ringer with Planned Parenthood.
The court took issue with two aspects of the Texas law that closed all but nine clinics in that state: doctors being required to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, and rules calling for clinics to upgrade to hospital, surgical- like standards. The court said these requirements created an "undue burden" on women.
Ringer says the requirements were for much more than what's required for other medical procedures. "More than what people have to do to give birth to a baby, have a colonoscopy, get liposuction, have a vasectomy," she said.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, more than 20 other states have similar laws or restrictions, and South Carolina is one of those. Ringer says, "But this was a big win for women across the country and we are gonna look at in South Carolina, and send a message to all legislators that this is something we are going to be following closely."
Crystal Sharpe says she came to the rally because she was disappointed in the most recent decision South Carolina Legislators made to restrict abortions after 19 weeks. She says, "Instead of fixing the road, passing legislation to fix the roads, they chose instead to infringe on my rights, and I feel like that's ridiculous. It really is."
So advocates hope this ruling will make our South Carolina general assembly think twice in the next session. Ringer tells News 19, "It will send a message to the legislature that restrictive laws that have no medical necessity in this state are simply not going to be tolerated by the Supreme Court."