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SC Bill Calls for Death Penalty as Punishment for Abortion

The right-wing extremists are at it again in Columbia and now in their gunsights are women who undergo an abortion.

Rep. Rob Harris (R-Spartanburg County) has introduced House Bill 3549, which would make the death penalty a possible punishment for women in the Palmetto State who have an abortion. The bill, called the South Carolina Preenatal Equal Protection Act of 2023, is currently pending before the House Judiciary Committee.

The bill defines a person to include an unborn child at any stage of development, and to “ensure that an unborn child who is a victim of homicide is afforded equal protection under the homicide laws of the state.”

So, the bottom line is this: At least one Republican lawmaker in the South Carolina state legislature who purports to cherish life would take away the life of a woman who for whatever reason decided to end her pregnancy.

The bill would “ensure that an unborn child who is victim of assault is afforded equal protection under the assault laws of the state.”

Is this what the Supreme Court had in mind as the ultimate inducement to end abortion in our country when they reversed Roe V. Wade? Probably not, but did they not realize they were appeasing a group of zealots who are so obsessed, at their base that they would go this far to have their way?

Not interested in politics? You’ll do anything to not get involved?

Please, make time for politics.

There is a growing group of rightwing extremists that is fueling the movement to take over our country. At the very top they see complete control of the population as a means to become even wealthier than they already are. What do they care about democracy?

The only thing the power-mongers have to do is continue manipulating the haters in the country. They simply agree that members of the LGBTQ community will make their children gay, that Mexicans will turn them into drug addicts, and that the intention of people of color is to replace the white population. Oh, lest we forget, the Jewish people will take all of their money.

They handpick a few Scriptures from the Bible to support their positions, and as an added inducement, these extremists call themselves Christians. Have you ever wondered what Jesus Christ would have to say about all of this? Have you read His Sermon on the Mount? If you do, you will see they’re not even close to His words.

If all of the far-right rumblings were just a rant, we wouldn’t have to worry, they are always angry about something. What makes this different is that they have managed to vote in a few bullies who do not value our American ideals of freedom and equality and they are chipping away at our rights

So, here’s where we are and here’s what we’ve lost so far in addition to a woman’s right to control her own body through new and pending legislation:

Sixteen states now have laws or policies in place that limit lessons about race and inequality being taught in American K-12 schools.

Critical race theory, an academic concept about systemic racism typically taught in higher education institutions, has become a target of Republican legislators in states across the country.

There is a growing government movement that seeks to decide what books our children can read as part of their education. This is not a movement limited to a few parental objections about specific books they find objectionable.

This movement to ban books is deeply undemocratic, in that it often seeks to impose restrictions on all students and families based on the preferences of those calling for the bans and notwithstanding polls that consistently show that Americans of all political persuasions oppose book bans.

Teachers are being fired for disobeying the laws on what can be taught in classrooms; what might the penalty become as time goes on? Will educators be arrested, or even executed in some cases as is already suggested for those seeking abortions in South Carolina?

The new laws and those pending beg the question, who will monitor them? Won’t we need a special police squad dedicated to ferret out those who disobey? The police are already tied up with everyday traffic infractions, robberies, shootings, how can they be expected to find clandestine lessons based on books about slavery, Japanese Internment Camps and eventually all reading unless they are about achievements of white people.

It is time to act. Please call your Congressional representatives and tell them that we expect them to earn the money we pay them to protect our democracy, starting NOW. If you still have doubts, please find a copy of the book or movies, Judgment at Nuremberg. Watch it, or read it, as many times as you need to in order to understand how the German people could have been so deaf and blind as to let Nazism rule their land during that horrible time in their history.

It didn’t happen overnight. It happened step-by-step. And there were no winners.

Eileen Powell, of Marion, SC, is a member of the HCDP Communications Committee. She is an advocate for protecting the freedoms of all Americans and a life-long Democrat.
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