Posted by Ryan Morgan on June 26, 2013 at 12:37 PM
When I think of “16 years”, my head fills with images of ecstatic young faces on new driver’s licenses. I remember my first taste of pure freedom as my friends and I earned the right to drive off towards our dreams.
But as the legislative session comes to a close, 16 years has a whole new meaning. 2013 was the 16th consecutive year lawmakers have tried to outlaw birth control in South Carolina.
For the last 16 years, lawmakers have tried to pass personhood legislation, and this January was no different. Senators Bright and Bryant introduced a pair of personhood bills, S. 83 - The Personhood Act of South Carolina
, and S. 87 - The Life Beginning at Conception Act
. “Personhood” is a political movement that seeks to outlaw all hormonal contraceptives on the grounds that these forms of birth control may interfere with a woman’s ovulation, may prevent fertilization of a woman’s egg by a sperm, or may prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg in a woman’s uterus.
Members of this movement consider any form of hormonal birth control to be the equivalent of an abortion in spite of medical evidence to the contrary. They lobby aggressively in state legislatures, including South Carolina's General Assembly. If personhood legislation is becomes law in South Carolina it would outlaw:
- - Hormonal birth control (like the Pill of IUDs)
- - Emergency Contraception (even for victims of rape and incest)
- - In-Vitro fertilization practices (making it more difficult for some people to start families)
- - life-saving research being used to find cures for chronic disease and disabilities
These laws would also:
- - criminalize natural miscarriages and force innocent women to be investigated and possibly jailed
- - violate the 1st Amendment and the American value of religious freedom by codifying one religious viewpoint over another
- - impact property rights, inheritance rights, estate law and thousands more issues dealing with a person's "next of kin"
aligns with mainstream medical organizations such as the American Medical Association, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the World Health Organization and therefore, we support reproductive health policies based upon scientific research, medicine and widely accepted standards for excellent clinical practice.
Hormonal contraceptives have been prescribed by doctors and used by women around the world for more than 40 years, and the worldwide medical community has been consistent and clear:
“Pregnancy” is established when a fertilized egg has been implanted in the wall of a woman's uterus. Hormonal contraceptives act before implantation and prevent pregnancy.
supports all forms of hormonal birth control and will continue to oppose legislation, ballot initiatives and other organized efforts to erode this longstanding, safe family planning option.