South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has announce that Republican Congressman Tim Scott will replace exiting Senator Jim DeMint in the U.S. Senate, making Scott the first Republican African American senator from the south since the late 19th century, according to the New York Times.
Although Tea Party senator DeMint’s departure for the Heritage Foundation means that one of the biggest opponents to women’s rights is leaving political office, Scott’s addition to the body isn’t likely to be any help to those who believe in reproductive rights. Scott went immediately on the offense after being sworn in, attacking Planned Parenthood and fighting to end “taxpayer funded abortion.” In an interview just days after inauguration, Scott told CNN:
“We are making a step in the right direction. The truth is, if we were to eliminate all funding for Planned Parenthood we’d save $300 million for the taxpayers…I think we are making positive steps in appealing Obamacare.
In the same interview, Scott made it clear that he believed that life began and must be protected from the moment sperm fertilizes an egg. Answering a question about a statement them presidential candidate Rick Santorum made about how President Barack Obama, as a black man, should be uncomfortable about defining when a person is a person, Scott responded:
“We are all human beings…the question that we ought to answer is when is life life? When does life start? It is at conception. It’s a very simple answer. It doesn’t matter if you are black or white, it is at conception…I support his position as it relates to making sure that we keep the sanctity of life at the top of the mind awareness, and not the issue of color.
Scott has mostly used the funding issues surrounding abortion, contraception and the Affordable Care Act as budgetary problems to oppose, but has reiterated his “100% prolife position” on the campaign trail.
DeMint may be gone, but with Scott taking over don’t expect any sort of shift in the makeup of the senate when it comes to the right to choose.