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We work to improve reproductive health policy in South Carolina.

The Return of Personhood

Posted by Ryan Morgan on January 23, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Every year for the past 15 years, South Carolina reproductive rights advocates fight back against at least 1 "personhood" bill. This year makes #16.

Here we go again.


Senator Lee Bright has already introduced 2 bills which would establish "life beginning at conception," and thereby outlawing around the idea of "Personhood."

"Personhood" establishes "the rights of due process and equal protection, guaranteed by Article 1, Section 3 of the Constitution of this state, vest at conception for each born and preborn human."

This has dramatic implications far beyond women's reproductive rights. Analysts say that if personhood passed it would:

  1. 1) outlaw hormonal birth control methods (like the Pill or IUDs), including access to emergency contraception, even for rape and incest cases;
  2. 2) ban life-saving research being used to find cures for chronic diseases and disabilities;
  3. 3) outlaw in-vitro fertilization practices, making it more difficult for some people to start families;
  4. 4) criminalize natural miscarriages and force innocent women to be investigated and possibly jailed;
  5. 5) violate the 1st Amendment and the American value of religious freedom by codifying one religious viewpoint over another;
  6. 6) impact property rights, inheritance rights, estate law and thousands more issues dealing with a person's "next of kin."

It's not just South Carolina that's heading down this road. Former Vice-Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan introduced a personhood bill earlier this month. His bill currently has 17 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives.

This is the 16th year in a row that the South Carolina General Assembly will have to spend time and money debating this bill - which fails to pass every year. A similar law was struck down by an Oklahoma court last year, and Mississippi voters rejected personhood measures on their ballot last year.

Tell Them members support all citizens' rights to access birth control and remain in control of their reproductive healthcare choices. We will work hard to ensure that this bill does not become law in South Carolina.


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