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In a 3-2 vote Thursday, a committee of the South Carolina Senate advanced a bill that would bar prosecution of women who use deadly force to protect their unborn fetuses. In fact, women in South Carolina already have this right under the state's Stand Your Ground law. But then the bill isn't about self-defense, it's about getting fetal "personhood" gradually approved through the back door.

"Personhood" amendments are specifically designed to prohibit abortion by giving legal rights to fertilized eggs and fetuses. The language of the bill itself is clear on this point under Section 16-11-441:

(2) 'Unborn child' means the offspring of human beings from conception until birth.
All part of building a foundation for ultimately banning abortion.

More on this below the fold.

Jamie Self at The Herald writes:

Giving embryos constitutional rights also would end fertilization programs for would-be parents, outlaw contraception and open up mothers and their doctors to criminal charges, opponents say. It also would ban abortion in cases of rape, incest or when the mother could die.
Katie McDonough at Salon shredded the proposal:
The measure also pays considerable lip service to the very real threat of violence faced by women and pregnant people, but does nothing to strengthen existing anti-violence laws, create additional funding for domestic violence service providers or increase actual resources to aid people in violent situations.

None of this was lost on the opponents of the measure. “No one disputes that violence against pregnant women is a concern in our state and few would deny the need for swift action to stop any instances of further violence,” Emma Davidson, spokeswoman for South Carolina Coalition for Healthy Families, told the Aiken Standard. “But it is hypocritical to introduce legislation claiming to protect victims of domestic abuse, rape and violence while simultaneously outlawing emergency contraception, a key treatment option for those victims.”

McDonough goes on to point out that if forced-birther lawmakers in South Carolina really wanted to do something positive, they would stop gutting budgets of programs designed to help women trying to escape domestic violence with emergency shelter, housing, transportation, childcare and legal representation. Then perhaps the rate at which women in South Carolina are killed by men would not be double that of the nation as a whole.

It's just one more day in the relentless, multifaceted crusade to control women's sexuality and invade their privacy, this time couched in a law that pretends to care about their well-being.


Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 10:33 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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