In the past two weeks, a lot has happened. I got sick, "The Interview" was the subject of foreign dispute, Madonna had to release part of her upcoming album and lawmakers did a little bit of prefilling in the Senate and the House.
Long story short, we have a lot of good work to do in the upcoming legislative season.
In the words of Eme Crawford, "they’ve done it again." S.129 is yet another "personhood" bill introduced in the Senate. For 17 years in a row, extremists lawmakers have tried to grant full constitutional rights to fertilized eggs by defining "personhood" from the moment of fertilization, before pregnancy has even occurred. What I don't think these lawmakers understand, or if they do they should be kicked out of office, is that S.129 can essentially make hormonal birth control illegal. YES. Illegal. As in, not legal.
How you ask? Hormonal contraceptives work before a fertilized egg is implanted in the uterus, before pregnancy has taken place. The pill and IUDs could be banned if these "personhood" measures are adopted. How many of you take the pill? How many of you use IUDs? So many, right?
BUT, that's not the only thing put at risk by S.129. In Vitro Fertilization, commonly known as IVF, could also be questioned for its legality. If fertilized eggs are considered full humans, then anything that puts those eggs at risk would be a criminal act. Since IVF isn't fool-proof and 100% guaranteed, naturally there is some risk to the fertilized eggs used in the treatment. Therefore doctors would be forced to perform inferior practices over IVF because eggs could be wasted. Hope you don't need IVF.
And while S.129 really makes me roll my eyes and make steam shoot out my nostrils, we DO have some prefiles that make us smile.
H.3204 and H.3251 are both bills that would enhance reproductive health for South Carolinians.
Last legislative session we supported the Cervical Cancer Prevention Act, and H.3204 is more-than-not a reintroduction of that Act. It would allow Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to develop a vaccination brochure series that would be distributed to middle school students that would help explain cervical cancer and why the vaccination is important.
H.3251 is a bill that would require DHEC to establish a maternal morbidity and mortality review committee to study maternal deaths and report back to the General Assembly. Why is this cool? Hello... research. If we can track and review, we can improve. And who doesn't want to improve pregnancy?
Listen, the state of South Carolina's health is in our hands. We can sit back and let the extremist lawmakers define microscopic fertilized eggs as full humans, which would restrict IVF, IUDs and the pill. We can let bills that would improve health and save lives be pushed aside and looked at as unimportant or ill-advised. Or, like the kick-butt people we are, we can take charge and fight for reproductive health in South Carolina.
Take action, donate to Tell Them. You can guarantee we'll give you an opportunity to have your voice heard. So like I said, we have a lot of good work to do in the upcoming legislative season. Let's do it.