Three GOP state senators who obstructed South Carolina’s abortion ban lost their primaries

Three South Carolina Republican senators who obstructed the state’s abortion ban lost their primary elections this month.

Katrina Shealy, Sandy Senn and Penry Gustafson lost to three male candidates and were part of a bipartisan group of five female state senators who obstructed a near-total ban on abortion. They were nicknamed the “sister senators”.

Through their coordinated efforts, the group was chosen last year to receive the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award.

“During the filibuster, each of the five lawmakers took turns describing the complexities of pregnancy and the reproductive system, the dangers of lack of access to contraception, and inadequate privacy laws,” the statement said. announcement of receipt of the prize. “Immediately following their filibuster, the sister senators were heckled and harassed by anti-abortion activists. The three Republicans also faced strong opposition from their own party, including censures and promises of primary challenges in 2024.

Shealy conceded Tuesday night to Carlisle Kennedy, the Post and Courier reported, after receiving 37.5 percent of the vote, according to an unofficial tally of primary runoff results released by South Carolina Tuesday evening. Shealy represents a county in the middle of the state that includes the capital Columbia.

Kennedy’s campaign website said he was “proudly pro-life” and would “work to protect the unborn and advocate for policies that support mothers and families.”

The results come after Gustafson and Senn were defeated in primaries earlier this month.

Gustafson, who represents three upstate counties, lost by a wide margin to Allen Blackmon in the June 11 primary, after Blackmon received 82 percent of the vote. Blackmon also ran on an anti-abortion platform, saying on his campaign website that those who are “born and pre-born” are “worthy of protection.”

Senn, who represented the southeastern part of the state, including the Charleston area, was defeated by Matt Leber, narrowly losing his race by just over 30 votes. Leber has served in the South Carolina House since 2022 and voted for the state’s signed bill that bans abortion after the detection of a “fetal heartbeat.”

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