With the passage of the 20-week abortion ban, S.C. legislators mark another low point in responsibility. The so-called “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” flies in the face of scientific knowledge and will affect only 28 women a year. Actually, the exceptions for severe fetal abnormalities and the health of the woman mean it will affect even fewer women, but it is these girls and women who have truly been sacrificed for political gain.
This bill will prohibit victims of incest and rape from having an abortion at 20 weeks. These could be girls who have been sexually assaulted by family or friends of family, who are so terrified that they deny the symptoms of pregnancy or, worse, do not know what is happening to them. They may be afraid of punishment, so they keep the pregnancy hidden as long as possible. They may be ashamed and unable to admit to themselves or others that they have been raped until it can no longer be hidden.
This law means that in addition to the violence of rape, these victims will be forced to carry their pregnancy to term, to live with this their entire lives, to take on motherhood, very likely without adequate emotional and financial support. It means sacrificing their own lives and goals, possibly damaging relationships with loved ones. It means that the men who assaulted them will now control the rest of their lives.
Well done, South Carolina.
Agnes F. Pomata