How the “Reproductive Freedom Bill of Rights Act” and Proposed Abortion Ban are Shaping the Debate on Women’s Health Care in South Carolina.
South Carolina Democrats have introduced the “Reproductive Freedom Bill of Rights Act” as part of their ongoing efforts to safeguard women’s right to abortion in the state. The comprehensive piece of legislation, which also includes protections for in-vitro fertilization and birth control, was announced in a press conference led by Rep. Spencer Wetmore. One of the bill’s sponsors, District 75 representative Heather Bauer, said the aim was to fight for women’s freedom across South Carolina.
The bill features several protections for women, such as allowing abortions before the viability of the embryo or fetus, or in the case of complications after the viability of the fetus. It also includes a provision for the process by which a minor may have an abortion. However, Bauer expressed concern that the bill still contained restrictive guidelines, describing the process as “overly cumbersome” and an “invasion of privacy.”
The introduction of the “Reproductive Freedom Bill of Rights Act” comes in the wake of a new abortion ban proposed by House Republicans, despite the South Carolina Supreme Court ruling their previous six-week abortion ban unconstitutional. The new Republican bill, House Bill 3774, has exceptions for rape, incest, and “fatal fetal anomaly confirmed by two physicians,” and includes carefully crafted provisions protecting the life and serious bodily health of the mother, according to Republican sponsor John McCravy.
The ongoing debate over abortion rights in South Carolina reflects a broader national conversation about reproductive freedom and women’s health care in the United States.