Politics - News Analysis

South Carolina GOP Lawmakers Propose Death Penalty for Women Who Have Abortions

Just imagine. A desperate woman, unable to afford the child she is already raising with a father who disappeared, one that already has trouble making pediatrician appointments because she doesn’t have a car and must take the bus. Out of desperation, she has a relative in Florida get some abortion pills off the black market. They are intercepted because her OBGYN is a fundamentalist (unbeknownst to her). She had already taken the pills. South Carolina charges her with murder. Because she went through Florida to avoid authorities, the prosecutor seeks the death penalty.

It could happen. From Rolling Stone:

The “South Carolina Prenatal Equal Protection Act of 2023” would amend the state’s code of laws, redefining “person” to include a fertilized egg at the point of conception, affording that zygote “equal protection under the homicide laws of the state” — up to and including the ultimate punishment: death.  

The bill was authored by Rep. Rob Harris, a registered nurse and member of the Freedom Caucus; it has attracted 21 co-sponsors to date. (Two former co-sponsors — Rep. Matt Leber and Rep. Kathy Landing — asked to have their names removed as sponsors of the bill. Leber and Landing could not be reached for comment.)  

Rep. Nancy Mace, a Republican who represents South Carolina in the U.S. House, took to the floor on Friday to call attention to the bill, which she sees as part of a “deeply disturbing” trend. (Multiple Texas lawmakers have floated the idea of executing women who have abortions in the past. Those bills, proposed before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, failed.)

Alito knew what he was unleashing when he wrote, “Roe was egregiously decided from the start…” and reversed the law.

Every miscarriage would be treated like a crime scene. Women would have to prove their innocence (how else would one characterize your fight to prove your innocence?).

Meanwhile, almost as tragically, the rich white woman, a pillar of the community, would take her 17-year-old daughter to the doctor for a “female issue,” and a quick D&C is performed. The pregnancy test is altered. Isn’t everything else handled the same way?

[email protected], @JasonMiciak, with Nicole Hickman

meet the author

Jason Miciak is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is originally from Canada but grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He now enjoys life as a single dad raising a ridiculously-loved young girl on the beaches of the Gulf Coast. He is very much the dreamy mystic, a day without learning is a day not lived. He is passionate about his flower pots and studies philosophical science, religion, and non-mathematical principles of theoretical physics. Dogs, pizza, and love are proof that God exists. "Above all else, love one another."


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