South Carolina Citizens for Life Strongly Oppose
COLUMBIA, S.C. – A Senate Medical Affairs subcommittee on Wednesday declined to advance a bill that compares a woman’s uterus with rental property and incentivizes men to undergo a vasectomy. The bill S.874, the Pro-Birth Accountability Act, however, remains in play for further work. It purports to financially compensate pregnant women who cannot abort in South Carolina once the baby’s heartbeat is detected.
South Carolina Citizens for Life strongly opposes the legislation noting in a letter to subcommittee members that S.874 “is an attempt by those hostile to the Fetal Heartbeat Act to disrupt life-protecting policies” and to “characterize as anti-woman those of us who work to protect the innocent lives of unborn children and their mothers.”
“Comparing a woman’s uterus to ‘rental property’ and incentivizing men to have vasectomies is disturbing, vile language intended to devalue members of our human family, born and waiting to be born,” Holly Gatling, Executive Director of South Carolina Citizens for Life, told the subcommittee members.
After an hour of testimony, Pro-Life Sen. Billy Garrett, R-Greenwood, the subcommittee chairman, said the measure requires “a lot of work” to resolve legal questions and overlaps in government funded programs already existing for pregnant women, infants, and children. Sen. Garrett suggested a motion to carry over the bill until a further meeting. Pro-abortion Sen. Mia McLeod, D-Richland, author of S.874 and a militant opponent of the Fetal Heartbeat Act enacted in 2023, made the motion to carry over her own bill, and the motion passed.
The SCCL letter states: “The abortion industry and its collaborators routinely and falsely contend that the pro-life movement is only ‘pro-birth’ when the truth is South Carolina Citizens for Life and the numerous pregnancy care centers, churches, pro-family organizations, maternity care homes, and countless individuals have always supported policies that embrace both the preborn and her mother.” The more than two dozen pregnancy care centers around the Palmetto state provide free medical services, clothing, diapers, wipes, parenting classes, job training, and much more long after the birth of the child.
The SCCL letter continues pointing out that “A simple glance at the South Carolina Department of Social Services website reveals the numerous resources for families and children provided by our state government. The website first5sc.org connects parents with more than 40 programs that promote healthy families and healthy children.”
Additionally, Ms. Gatling provided documentation to the subcommittee of the billions of government dollars allocated each year in South Carolina to supplement grocery budgets for low income families; provide temporary cash assistance for households with dependent children; provide Medicaid for pregnant women and children and children with complex medical needs; and BabyNet which provides early intervention for developmentally delayed children.
SCCL encouraged legislators to increase the budget for pregnancy care centers from the current $2.4 million to $10 million or more.
No date has been set to reconvene the subcommittee for further hearings on the Pro-Birth bill.