Lawmakers in South Carolina have pre-filed an assortment of new legislation aimed at making it harder for women to access legal abortion care and birth control. Worse still, it’s a possible bellwether of what’s to come this year from state legislatures across the country.
According to an article in The Huffington Post, the South Carolina State Legislature now faces seven new proposed measures that specifically target women’s reproductive health and rights. These include several different abortion bans: one that would ban the procedure after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, and another at 20 weeks.
Both of these bans would be violations of the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding in Roe v. Wade that states may not restrict abortion before viability (usually considered 24 weeks).
As HuffPost notes, Republican state senator Lee Bright—sponsor of five of the seven bills—acknowledges that the bills are overlapping, but says he is waiting to “see which [bill] gets the most traction.”
Other pre-filed measures include a personhood bill—which Bright says he is “most passionate” about, despite the fact that personhood measures have been rejected nationwide without exception every time they have been introduced—and an admitting privileges bill. This restriction requires abortion providers to have unnecessary admitting privileges at a local hospital.
If this bill passes, South Carolina will join the growing list of states restricting abortion access by advancing medically unjustified measures that target providers and close clinics, while doing nothing to promote the health and safety of women.