No decent lawmaker should consider SC’s latest abortion bill that has no rape exception

·3 min read
Tracy Glantz/tglantz@thestate.com

It’s difficult to write rationally about a premise that’s beyond irrational.

A proposal that made it out of a State House committee and is set to be debated on the House floor would ban abortion in South Carolina. The procedure would even be banned in cases of rape or incest.

The bill seems like nothing more than a scheme to grab votes at the harm of victims rather than thoughtfully legislate.

The only total ban should be on bills like this one

It’s shameful what that committee of lawmakers, the bill’s creators and sponsors have proposed, and it will be beyond shameful if SC lawmakers don’t take the bill and immediately burn it.

The whole point of having laws against rape and incest is to prevent those crimes and mitigate suffering for victims. Having a child born out of that trauma makes the victim live their victimization every second of their lives. Making them have a child born of a crime is punishment for the victim. Lawmakers might as well throw women in an emotional prison for being raped.

What will it take for reason to come to Republican lawmakers who are pushing this narrative that no exception for rape and incest are popular views and worthy stances?

They are not.

If lawmakers listened to anyone beyond their most extreme party voters, those lawmakers would see the vast majority of people believe in exceptions for rape and incest. National polls have shown that. South Carolina polls have shown that. A recent vote on a constitutional abortion ban in Kansas showed that.

Looking at the list of lawmakers sponsoring the bill, there are some who are typically thoughtful Republicans, that includes at least one former prosecutor and a former police officer, who should know first hand the pain victims go through. But they’ve lost their thoughtfulness in this case.

Those lawmakers know the bill is careless, unpopular and likely to be altered if not an outright failure, but they’ll be able to go to their base and say they supported an all out ban. This is lazy and dangerous legislating that toys with people’s well-being.

The bill’s denial of abortions in cases of rape and incest may be its most shocking element, but that’s not its only failing. The proposal would criminalize doctors who perform abortions except in the cases where the mother’s health is at risk. But the bill has such convoluted language about when such an exception is permitted that not even a doctor could understand it.

This will lead to doctors not performing necessary abortions for fear of having their medical licenses taken and being thrown into prison. This would be happening in a state that already has some of the highest rates of pregnancy-related deaths and complications.

Doctors who perform an abortion under these the vague circumstances are subject to lawsuits in the proposal, which will again increase the hesitance of doctors to perform life saving abortions.

Rational lawmakers have to take back the abortion debate.

Abortion is not murder. It’s a medical procedure that should be left up to an individual.

Rape victims and victims of incest should especially have a right to an abortion.

These should not be debatable in any rational state.