Yesterday, the South Carolina Senate passed Senate Bill 1, an extreme bill that could ban abortion as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. This process has moved quickly as state leaders rush to send this bill to the governor's desk, so we’re here to clear a few things up.
The bill has passed the Senate! Is the fight over?
No. So far, S. 1 has only passed the S.C. Senate. It will still need to pass the House before it is sent to the governor for his signature, at which point it will become law. We’re about halfway through the bill’s path, and there are still a lot of steps we need to get through. We created a helpful infographic to show the current path S. 1 is taking:
I heard the Senate added an amendment that allows abortion in the case of rape or incest. Does that improve the bill at all?
The short answer is: no. Regardless of the reason a person decides to have an abortion, every abortion is valid. And no matter the exceptions added to this bill, it will still be extreme, unjust, and do real harm to people across the state.
S. 1 now allows for abortions to take place if the pregnant person is a victim of rape or incest. But the bill also requires the doctor to report the assault to law enforcement, including the survivor’s name and contact information. Any doctor who performs an abortion on a patient who is a survivor of rape or incest must report the crime within 24-hours to the sheriff of the county in which the abortion was performend, and must include the name and contact information for the pregnant person seeking an abortion. This is a clear violation of a patient’s privacy and will likely re-victimize the person who has endured significant trauma.
The fact is that only about 1 in 4 survivors of rape report the crime to law enforcement. The South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault said it best: “this kind of exception, which makes the bill more palatable to lawmakers and the public still negatively impacts the rights of survivors to self-determination along their path to healing.”
How soon could the bill get to the governor’s desk?
We don’t know how long it will take for S. 1 to pass the House, but, based on how quickly it flew through the Senate, we can anticipate it will happen quickly and could become law in a matter of weeks.
Since we don’t have a lot of time, is it even worth fighting?
Absolutely. This is not the first time we have seen an extreme abortion ban, and we will continue to show up for the people that need access to safe and legal abortion every day. We will fight every step of the way. We hope you’re ready to join us.
I’m ready to go! What can I do to help you fight?
So glad you asked! There are plenty of ways you can fight back:
Call members of the subcommittee. The House Constitutional Law Subcommittee is hearing S. 1 on Wednesday, February 3rd, and some key members need to hear that you are against this dangerous bill:
Wes Newton - District 120 - (803) 212-6810
Russell Fry - District 106 - (803) 212-6781
Will Wheeler - District 50 - (803) 212-6958
Chris Murphy, Chair - District 98 - (803) 734-3120
Sign our petition to send a clear message to your representative that you will not stand by while they try to pass this extreme abortion ban.
Make sure you are following us on Twitter and Instagram, where we will be giving you up-to-the-minute updates on where the bill is, when it will be heard, and more actions you can take each step of the way.