Posted by Ryan Morgan on April 23, 2014 at 10:05 AM
The following is but one of the many pieces of testimony that was given in opposition to S.527, the so-called Pregnant Women’s Protection Act.
By Elizabeth Legg
Dear Senator Campsen and members of the Judiciary subcommittee:
I write to you today to strongly urge you to vote against S.527 – The Pregnant Woman’s Protection Act.
South Carolina currently has one of the broadest self-defense laws in the country. Shooters have no “duty to retreat” prior to using a deadly force to defend himself or herself or another from serious bodily harm. A shooter is immune from criminal prosecution and cannot be arrested unless police have probably case to believe that he or she was not acting in self-defense. Current South Carolina law also immunizes the short from all civil suits, including those brought by innocent bystanders.
These rights exist in their current form to all citizens, including pregnant women. If a pregnant woman was in a situation where she felt threatened and needed to use deadly force to protect herself or another (aka her child), then she is within her rights to do so, and cannot be prosecuted for that action. This type of legislation is so broad that it would outlaw Emergency Contraception, forcing victims of rape and sexual assault to carry their attacker’s child.
As an advocate for sexual assault and violence intervention and prevention who works with victims, I know that the key to protecting pregnant women from assault is through prevention strategies. Actual commitment to decreasing violence against pregnant women would be demonstrated by legislation that increases funding for nutrition and health programs for pregnant women, mothers, and families and by taking steps to ensure that pregnant women are not punished or made more vulnerable as a result of seeking help from the police and other state officials.
The proposed “Pregnant Woman’s Protection Act” is a redundant and unnecessary law that seeks to further separate and highlight the presumed vulnerability that accompanies pregnancy. I strongly urge to you vote against this bill.
Elizabeth Legg, Graduate Assistant at USC Sexual Assault & Violence Intervention and Prevention
Click here to send Senators Karl Allen and Brad Hutto an email thanking them for voting NO on this bill in subcommittee!