Kathryn Harvey Spartanburg Herald Journal Op Ed on Abortion Access
I NEED YOU TO BE OUTRAGED.
Here we are, halfway through summer with several fundamental rights under attack in the U.S., including abortion access, our right to vote, racial justice, LGBTQ+ rights, and a host of others intertwined with our right to liberty in which Roe was grounded. And the ongoing January 6 hearings qualify the foundation has been laid for fervent political violence that bodes for very unsettling future election cycles.
All of this should be alarming regardless of your political persuasion.
Our state has some of the worst reproductive health outcomes in the country. Abortion is healthcare, and legal access to abortion is now in the hands of state lawmakers. Governor McMaster has already put a six week abortion ban into effect and the house is swiftly moving to pass H.5399. This bill that would outlaw abortion completely and require doctors to report survivors of rape and incest who are seeking abortion to law enforcement.
Of the 51 House members who are sponsoring the Bill, all of the Republican House members from Spartanburg are on the list; District 32 Rep. Max Hyde, District 33 Rep. Travis Moore, District 34 Rep. Roger Nutt, District 35 Rep. Bill Chumley, District 36 Rep. Rita Allison (who just lost a devastating primary race to Rob Harris who is far more extreme), District 37 Rep. Travis Long, and District 38 Rep. Josiah Magnuson.
In fact, the only House member from Spartanburg who is not on the Bill is the Spartanburg County Democratic Party Executive Committeewoman and House District 31 Representative Rosalyn-Henderson Myers, who is among the 12 House members (7 Republicans, 5 Democrats) appointed by Speaker Smith to the ad hoc committee that received public testimony on July 7.
The majority of South Carolinians do not want lawmakers to interfere with their personal decisions about pregnancy and parenting. According to a recent poll, three in four (75%) South Carolinians agree that women should have the right to make their own personal health care decisions.
Aborition bans will categorically have a greater negative impact on women, people of color, people who live in rural areas, young people, and people with low incomes. And bans will lead to significant economic consequences for both our state and for individuals who could experience four times greater odds of living below the Federal Poverty Level.
So what can you do? It sounds cliche, but getting out the vote and supporting progressive candidates across the state could make a tremendous difference this year. You have an opportunity to show up at the ballot box on November 8 and start changing the trajectory of lawmakers in the state of South Carolina.
It will take all of us to mobilize against the extremists here in our local community and across the state.
And while our local ballot is lacking in dems during this election, we can still keep the pressure on and hold accountable the Republican lawmakers who are pushing to take away our rights. We will need good, strong local candidates to contest these future races. If you're interested in running I want to hear from you. We want to hear from you. It has never been more important to get involved in the future of democracy in SC.
There are also immediate opportunities to support statewide advocacy efforts through the Women’s Rights & Network (WREN), a nonpartisan, nonprofit with the mission to build a movement to advance the health, economic well-being, and rights of women, girls, gender expansive people, and their families.
You can Organize for outreach efforts, donate, email the house ad hoc commitee on abortion rights, and tell your legislators to support S.1348, the Reproductive Health Rights Act, a bill that would repeal existing restrictions on abortion care and affirm the rights to contraception, in vitro fertilization, sex education, and all other forms of reproductive health care all at scwren.org.
Democracy is an action. This road will be long and arduous, but challenging what is happening here in our community, our state, and our country is energy well spent. It’s just our future after all.
Chair, Spartanburg County Democratic Party
**Public Policy Polling surveyed 636 South Carolina voters from July 1-2, 2022. The margin of error is +/- 3.9%. 50% of interviews for the survey were conducted by telephone and 50% by text message.