Lawmakers across the Carolinas respond to Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade

The ruling came more than a month after the leak of a draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito indicating the court was prepared to take this step.
Groups gathered in Charlotte following the Supreme Court's decision on Friday.
Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 11:23 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV/AP) – The Supreme Court’s decision to end constitutional protections for abortion by overturning Roe V. Wade has sparked reactions from lawmakers across the Carolinas, which seemed to fall along party lines.

Related: Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade; states can ban abortion

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said women’s right to make their own medical decision that had been in place for 50 years “has been tragically ripped away.”

“That means it’s now up to the states to determine whether women get reproductive health care, and in North Carolina they still can,” Cooper said in a statement. “I will continue to trust women to make their own medical decisions as we fight to keep politicians out of the doctor’s exam room.”

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said Friday’s ruling “is a resounding victory for the Constitution” and those who have worked for years to “protect the lives of the most vulnerable among us.”

“By the end of the day, we will file motions so that the Fetal Heartbeat Act will go into effect in South Carolina and immediately begin working with members of the General Assembly to determine the best solution for protecting the lives of unborn South Carolinians,” McMaster said in a statement.

The ruling came more than a month after the leak of a draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito indicating the court was prepared to take this step.

Alito, in the final opinion issued Friday, wrote that Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 decision that reaffirmed the right to abortion, were wrong the day they were decided and must be overturned.

Joining Alito were Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. The latter three justices are Trump appointees. Thomas first voted to overrule Roe 30 years ago.

Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan were in dissent.

Following the decision, N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein said women in the state still have a legal right to an abortion.

“North Carolina state law protects women’s reproductive freedoms, even after the Supreme Court today stripped women of their right to an abortion under the Constitution by overturning Roe v. Wade,” Stein said.

S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson thanked the Supreme Court for returning the decision-making power to the states.

“For almost 50 years, our country’s abortion policy was controlled by nine unelected judges. I have always thought Roe v. Wade was bad policy, was wrongly decided, and not supported by the Constitution,” Wilson said.

Republican North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis said the ruling “affirms my belief that all life is sacred.”

“I, for one, will continue to advocate for commonsense measures that the broad majority of Americans support like protecting life at crucial points of development and prohibiting horrendous procedures like partial-birth and pain-capable abortions,” Tillis said.

U.S. House Rep. Alma Adams, a Democrat representing North Carolina’s 12th congressional district, said the Supreme Court’s decision is “fundamentally wrong.”

“Despite this disastrous decision, we will continue to work in Congress for reproductive justice and equality, and enshrine the bodily autonomy of women and parents in the law,” Adams said.

Republican S.C. Sen. Lindsey Graham said the Supreme Court’s decision is a “long overdue constitutional correction.”

“The issue of life will now be decided by elected officials in the states, the same way the issue was handled until 1973. Simply stated, this decision represents a constitutional reset,” Graham said.

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