Wednesday's abortion ruling leaves some in Rock Hill rejoicing, others 'beat down'
The mood among some abortion-rights advocates following Wednesday’s state Supreme Court decision to uphold a ban on most abortions past six weeks is decidedly somber.
Within hours of the decision, abortion-access advocates in Rock Hill reacted to the decision with jaded weariness.
"Just — bitterness," wrote Rock Hill mother Amy Hayes in a text message: “Not surprised. Their plan to hand pick the court worked.”
Hayes is referencing the state Legislature’s selection of Judge Gary Hill back in February as a replacement for Justice Kay Hearn. Hearn was part of a slim majority that struck down an earlier, similar version of the abortion bill that was upheld on Wednesday.
For Amy Stephens-Frizzell, a Rock Hill mother of girls — who says she is seriously concerned for them now — Wednesday's decision was equally unsurprising and equally frustrating.
It was also equally dispiriting.
"I wish I could get angrier than I am currently," she says. "I feel like it's so disappointing and so unsurprising that it's hard to be really, really angry. I think mostly I'm sad."
Stephens-Frizzell says she is not even sure that any kind of movement to swing the state back towards more abortion access will even spark, given the tone of the justices' remarks.
"There was a quote from Justice [John W.] Kittredgethat basically said, yeah we know we’re violating women’s bodies, but we don’t care. When someone says that, what are you supposed to do? "
The mood for anti-abortion advocates, on the other hand, is one of elation.
"I'm very grateful for the decision today," said Courtney Denton, director of women's ministries at Lifehouse Women's Center in Rock Hill, in a text. "Our team is rejoicing this outcome."
Denton shared some group texts sent among Lifehouse staff.
"Wow," said one. "Praise God."
Another said, "This is amazing news. I'm proud to be a South Carolinian," a note that garnered an "amen."
Another woman in the group text wrote that she would now be "praying for the Palmetto Women's Center [a crisis pregnancy clinic in Rock Hill] and the pregnancy centers in Charlotte. SC women will now go out of state seeking abortions."
One destination is likely to be Charlotte, where, under a recent North Carolina law, abortions can still be performed up to 12 weeks.