Denying access to critical health care, including abortion care, increases the danger a sexual or domestic violence victim is in and decreases their ability to seek safety from their rapist or leave their abusive partner. It is vital to their social and economic participation, reproductive autonomy, and the right to determine their own lives.
Take Action: Use Your Voice and Stand With Survivors
Everyone knows someone who has been a victim of domestic and sexual violence. We ask that you speak up and stand with survivors whose voices have been ignored and marginalized, both in their homes, and now by South Carolina Lawmakers.
You can help ensure that the voices of survivors are heard in the statehouse and on Capitol Hill by calling your legislators, senators, and representatives.Contact Your State Legislators Contact Your Members of Congress
S.C. Legislative Priorities for 2023 on this Issue
With the start of the 2023 Legislative Sessions both South Carolina, SCCADVASA will continue our advocacy efforts and monitor the situation surrounding access to abortion care and reproductive rights for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Below is a listing and links to multiple bills that we will be tracking and responding to during this session.
- S. 29 (Hutto): Provides for women to be able to access abortion care prior to viability, affirms the right to contraception, in vitro fertilization, comprehensive sex education
- S. 240, H. 3490, H. 3549, H. 3552
Additional items added during session:
- H. 3774 (McCravey, et.al) is a complete abortion ban with very limited exceptions.
- The latest attempt to ban abortion in virtually all cases failed in the Senate the week of April 24, 2023. A bipartisan group of five female Senators led the filibuster that effectively ended debate for 2023. Their testimony spoke loudly to how the proposed legislation seeks to control women.
- This article, outlines how even when exceptions are included in abortion bans, accessing care becomes extremely difficult.
- S. 366 (Shealy, Senn, Gustafson & Davis) would make it unlawful to perform abortions after the first trimester with exceptions for fetal anomaly, a medical emergency for a pregnant woman, or in cases of rape and incest.
- The first trimester is designated as “the first twelve weeks of pregnancy commencing with conception rather than computed on the basis of the menstrual cycle.” It does not, at this time, require law enforcement notification of an abortion provided to a victim of rape or incest
- H. 3549 (Harris et. al) is a personhood bill that would mean that the state’s homicide laws would be applicable from the moment of fertilization.
- In addition to allowing prosecution for murder of anyone providing abortion care, this bill also has severe implications for the criminalization of miscarriage (the risk of which is between 15-50% depending on the age of the pregnant person).
- S. 474 (Grooms, Massy, Kimbrell & Adams) passed the Senate on Thursday. The bill is almost identical to the bill struck down by the Supreme Court.
- Rape and incest exceptions are limited to the first trimester and require a report of the abortion to law enforcement, in violation of a victim’s right to privacy.
Important Resources and Information on this Issue
- Access SCCADVASA’s Messaging Document with Talking Points
- Visit NWLC Resource Hub – Responding to Overturning Roe v. Wade
- Read Commentary: SC abortion bill gives batterers another way to control, abuse women written by Sara Barber, SCCADVASA executive director
- Read Post & Courier Editorial: SC abortion bill goes too far. Scale it back, or better yet, put it on hold.
- Watch Testimony from Patricia Ravenhorst, SCCADVASA general counsel, during 8/17 Senate Medical Affairs Committee Meeting
- SC House Rep. Bernstein & Rep. Cobb-Hunter Speak on Behalf of Survivors – H.5399: Abortion Ban
- South Carolina Supreme Court rules that the Fetal Heartbeat Protection from Abortion Act is unconstitutional on January 5, 2023 as it violates a woman’s right to privacy.
- Report: Mothers in states with abortion bans nearly 3 times more likely to die – January 19, 2023, Axios
- U.S. Gallup Poll shows Dissatisfaction with abortion policy highest since 2001 – February 10, 2023, Axios
- Senators defeat latest push to ban nearly all abortions in SC, ending possibility for 2023 – April 27, 2023, Post and Courier
- Battles over reproductive, transgender rights fought in state legislatures – April 28, 2023, PBS News Hour