Nancy Mace dons sign on jacket supporting access to contraception

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Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) donned n sign on her back at the Capitol on Thursday, casting shade on GOP colleagues for their opposition to a contraception bill.

The congresswoman, who was one of eight House Republicans to back the contraception bill, also called attention to a proposal in her home state of South Carolina that would increase restrictions on abortion without exceptions for rape or incest. “My state is banning exceptions. Protect contraception,” the sign taped on her blue blazer demanded.

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“My state is banning almost all exceptions for women including who’ve been raped & victims of incest. Today I voted to protect access to contraceptives — to protect every woman in South Carolina. You can’t ban abortion and then not protect women’s access to contraceptives,” Mace tweeted.

Mace previously advocated rape and incest exemptions regarding abortion restrictions during her time as a South Carolina state representative. During a contentious battle in the Palmetto State on abortion, Mace recalled how she had been raped at the age of 16. Ultimately, she prevailed in safeguarding those exemptions at the time. But now, much to her chagrin, the state House is eyeing an abortion restriction bill devoid of those exemptions.

On Thursday, the House passed the Right to Contraception Act with all Democrats and eight Republicans, including Mace, voting in favor of it. The bill guarantees a right to Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive pills. It came in response to the recent Supreme Court overturn of precedents set in Roe v. Wade.

In his concurring opinion for that decision, Justice Clarence Thomas argued that the court should revisit the issue of substantive due process, which was part of the rationale behind precedents guaranteeing a constitutional right to abortion access, contraception access, and gay marriage. This sparked a public frenzy and whipped up concerns that the high court could soon make a ruling cracking down on those other rights.

Justice Samuel Alito, who authored the recent Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization abortion decision, declared, “Our decision concerns the constitutional right to abortion and no other right.” Still, Democrats have sought to codify many of those rights into law just in case. Earlier this week, the House passed the Respect for Marriage Act to codify same-sex marriage into law. Mace joined 47 Republicans and all Democrats that voted for that bill.

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Mace, who is serving her first term in the House, drew Donald Trump’s ire for condemning the former president’s actions surrounding the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Trump backed her primary rival in response, but Mace fended off that challenge last month and nabbed the party nod for her district.