South Carolina ignores science and bans abortions at 20 weeks

South Carolina ignores science and bans abortions at 20 weeks May 26, 2016
A rally for reproductive rights outside South Carolina State House before the 20 week ban was passed. Can you find me? Photo by Brittany Braddock

I recently wrote about how my state of South Carolina was about to turn abortion lies into law with their 20 week ban. Sadly, Nikki Haley has now officially signed the bill into law. This bill was based on the false premise that fetuses can feel pain when the science overwhelmingly argues that they cannot. Furthermore, it’s been documented that abortions so late term are exceedingly rare and often occur because a woman couldn’t find a provider, was raising funds for the procedure, or was dealing with an abusive partner.

Nikki Haley went on to explain her decision for signing the bill into law by stating how her husband was adopted. Sigh. I personally don’t think that’s a great argument to sign a bill into law that harms women and ignores science.

As I mentioned before, I had a personal involvement with this bill. I met with my local politicians and provided scientific testimony against the bill. I didn’t even express my own opinion of being pro-choice, I simply summarized the scientific articles that explained why the premise of this bill was flawed. There were exactly zero people who provided any sort of legitimate counter-arguments to my testimony. The best “argument” was when a few pro-life doctors simply asserted that “we all know” fetuses feel pain without providing a shred of scientific evidence.

So yes, this is another sad day in South Carolina. But before the rest of the country writes us off as being backwards again, I’d like to leave you with some hopeful thoughts. Yes, this bill turned into a law, but it did face strong resistance. There were many (though not enough) local politicians that continuously fought this bill for years. During that time, there were many women who were able to have late term abortions for their extenuating circumstances.

Finally, my state is definitely full of social conservatives who have very outdated perspectives, but things are changing. In just the short time I’ve been here, I’ve seen a great deal of progress. Gay marriage became legal before it was federal law, the Confederate Flag finally came down, and we did NOT pass the awful anti-trans bathroom bill that our North Carolina neighbors did. There are many awesome progressive activists in South Carolina and I find them deeply inspiring for how they continue to fight for what’s right despite the massive opposition they face. So yes, the 20 week ban is depressing, but we will keep fighting for reproductive rights and making our state a friendlier place for all our citizens.

[Featured image from Brittany Braddock]

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