Through four hours of a subcommittee hearing, a multiracial, multigenerational coalition of advocates presented testimony before the Senate Medical Affairs Subcommittee in opposition of the 6-week abortion ban. More than 100 people signed up to testify today, and the vast majority spoke in opposition to the bill. They included physicians, patients, faith leaders, attorneys, activists, and concerned citizens.
Many shared stories of personal experiences that illustrated their need for abortion care and the medical consequences they faced when that care was unavailable. An advocate [who is unnamed here for privacy] said, “My pregnancy nearly killed me.”
Advocates relived some of the worst moments of their lives in the desperate hope that South Carolina Senators would do the right thing.
“This bill is extreme, and it is dangerous. Passing this bill will not end abortion,” said Ann Warner, CEO of the Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network. “It will, however, make pregnancy even more dangerous in South Carolina.”
Currently, South Carolina ranks 50th in the nation in healthcare for pregnant mothers and newborns. S.1 would further serve to make this state inhospitable for any pregnant person. A recent survey of women and LGBTQ+ voters found that a plurality of people rated South Carolina as a negative place for women.
The ban extreme measure to address a problem that does not exist. Roe v. Wade is settled law and abortions have been legal since 1973. Years later, and in nearly every session of the General Assembly in the recent past, extremist legislators have sought to challenge Roe. Many advocates shared testimony that highlighted the consequences of an abortion ban.
“Any person of reproductive age could be harmed by this law, but the people who will suffer the most will be people who already face barriers to health care, including young people, people of color, people with disabilities, survivors of violence, people with low incomes, and people living in rural areas,” said Warner.
S.1 received a favorable report from the Senate Medical Affairs subcommittee and will move on to the full committee in the coming days.
The Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network (WREN) is a South Carolina nonprofit, non-partisan network that is building a movement to advance the health, economic well-being, and rights of South Carolina’s women, girls, and their families. WREN provides a strong, collective voice for South Carolina’s women, girls, and gender-expansive people. Learn more at scwren.org.
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