During the 2018-2020 legislative session, LWVSC advocated against H.3020, the bill commonly, and erroneously, called the “fetal heartbeat bill”; that name misrepresents its contents. The bill would criminalize abortion as early as six weeks after conception when many women don’t even know that they are pregnant and when, in fact, there is no heart and no heartbeat. In September 2019, we testified in opposition to this bill.
Enhanced Availability of Contraception
During the 2019-2020 legislative session, we also advocated for H.3279 and S.187, bills that would require both private and public insurers to allow women to receive up to 12 months of contraceptive access at once. Where this has been done, it has greatly reduced unintended pregnancies and therefore has done far more to prevent abortions than the efforts of “pro-life” advocates.
We did not have hearings on these bills but, through the efforts of Rep. Beth Bernstein and Rep. Kirkman Finlay, negotiated an agreement that would permit women receiving Medicaid through Managed Care Options (provided by private insurers) to receive six months of contraception at once. Fee for Service Medicaid already permits twelve month dispensing. All, of course, would be at the discretion of physicians.
LWVSC supports the availability of quality health care at an affordable cost to all South Carolina residents. Health Insurance should be expanded to cover all South Carolinians. The state should participate fully in federal programs to provide health care insurance and services. The LWVSC strongly supports access to sexual and reproductive health care and autonomy of decision-making.
1. Support for a basic level of quality care has been affirmed by the LWVUS. LWVSC supports access to this basic level of quality health care, which should include preventive care, mental health care, adequate access in rural areas, prescription drug coverage, co-pay based on income, and access to children’s health care.
2. LWVUS favors a national health insurance plan financed through general taxes. Until the time that this goal is met, the LWVUS supports a combination of private and public sector insurance or alternatively administration of health insurance by a combination of governments at the federal, state and local levels. LWVSC believes that South Carolina should help to ensure coverage of its citizens by expanding Medicaid or similar federal programs to the extent feasible. that South Carolina should help to ensure coverage of its citizens by expanding Medicaid or similar federal programs to the extent feasible. As a lesser priority, the state should encourage insurers to offer more affordable options and support portability of insurance plans.
3. The LWVSC strongly supports reproductive rights, including family planning, access to abortion and sex education. The LWVSC affirms the LWVUS position on reproductive rights and accepts the definition of reproductive and sexual rights promulgated by Amnesty International at the 1994 Cairo Conference on Population and Development: “Sex and reproductive health rights, including access to sexual and reproductive health care and information as well as autonomous sexual and reproductive decision making, are human rights. These rights are universal, indivisible, and undeniable. These rights are grounded in other essential rights including the right to health free from discrimination, the right not to be subjected to torture or ill treatment, the right to determine the number and spacing of one’s children, and the right to be free from sexual violence.”
4. LWVSC supports programs to address lifestyle health issues such as food deserts, nutritional education, physical education and activity, access to green spaces, gun safety and violence prevention, obesity, and discouraging the use of tobacco products (including vaping).
Related national position: Health Care
Background/Action: A study of health care was approved at the 2015 convention and the consensus position was approved in 2017