‘Giving women back to themselves’: Survivor speaks on S.C. abortion ruling

The South Carolina Supreme Court strikes down the state’s six-week abortion ban, on Thursday night. Today’s ruling says the law violates the right to privacy.
Published: Jan. 5, 2023 at 10:26 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 6, 2023 at 9:14 AM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - After the South Carolina Supreme Court struck down the state’s six-week abortion ban on Thursday, there was reaction across the state.

Thursday’s ruling says the law violates the right to privacy.

The South Carolina constitution specifically outlines the right to privacy. Court justices argue this law would infringe on that.

For some, this decision is a victory and while the heartbeat bill still stands in Georgia, some think the 3-2 decision in South Carolina is a step in the wrong direction.

The decision has survivors of rape like Fran Coyle hopeful for the future of abortion laws in the state.

Coyle said: “I felt, ‘Oh, my gosh, they’re giving women back to themselves again.’”

Coyle was just 12 years old when she had an abortion after being raped. She says if abortion wasn’t a choice for her at the time, she’s not sure how her life would have turned out.

“I am very fortunate to have had such a successful life. And, you know, there’s no real way to go back and look and know. But I don’t think it would have turned out in the same way,” Coyle says.

Coyle is a retired teacher, a mother, and now a grandmother. But she worries, in Georgia, where the heartbeat bill still stands, those opportunities may be stripped if abortion rights are stripped any further. Advocates against abortion are hoping for stricter laws.

George Vozniak, Georgia Right to Life, says “As long as babies are still dying in Georgia, we have plenty of work to do to stop abortion in Georgia.”

As states continue to refine their abortion laws, both sides still say there is more to be done.

“We’ve got to be strong and we’ve got to be diligent,” Coyle states.

Vozniak shares, “There’s still a lot of work to do.”

While the Georgia heartbeat bill was briefly struck down by a judge in November, the state supreme court has not made any recent action to overturn the bill.