Last week, I wrote about the proposed bill in the S.C. House that would require a woman seeking an abortion in the state to view an ultrasound picture of the fetus in question prior to undergoing the pregnancy termination procedure.
Well, since that piece ran, I haven't been able to go to the Teeter and pick up a dozen eggs without someone approaching me to comment about what I had written.
Almost to a man, the petitioners were women who had "absolutely no idea" that "things had degraded to this point" by "assholes who think they're defending a sense of women's honor that is, at best, delusional."
That last one was my personal favorite.
Well, I'm here to tell you that there's more like-minded legislation lurking out there in the various subcommittees of both chambers of the General Assembly.
Just last week, "The Pharmacist Refusal Bill" (S. 126) crawled out from the morass that is a legislative subcommittee and may be up for consideration by the S.C. Senate Medical Affairs Committee as early as the first week of April.
This little gem, sponsored by S.C. Sen. Kevin Bryant (R-Anderson), would protect pharmacists who "refuse to fill prescriptions for a drug, class of drugs, or device on ethical, moral, or religious grounds."
Woo-hoo. Let's go back to the days of "we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone!"
Bryant, who's also one of the sponsors of that ultrasound nonsense, is a pharmacist and recently had a television truck from CNN parked in front of his house for his appearance on Paula Zahn's show to discuss said ultrasound nonsense.
Bryant's pharmacist bill is a fine example of how clever and lawyered-up the social conservative movement can be.
The bill has been attached to that section of the S.C. Code of Laws that addresses abortion rather than that section dealing with pharmacies.
The people I've encountered with a passing knowledge of this sort of legislation think the intent of these bills is about dispensing RU-486 (mifepristone), which is designed to induce a chemical abortion.
Bryant, again, is a pharmacist and is (or should be) patently aware that RU-486 is not dispensed through a pharmacy and is only available from a trained physician or clinic.
Access to RU-486 was restricted by the Federal Drug Administration when it gave approval to the drug in 2000 (by the by, another controversial debate).
So then, what's up with his bill?
He won't say, but clearly it has everything to do with limiting women's access to birth control.
There are a lot of people in South Carolina who are as vehemently opposed to contraception as they are to abortion because they believe that heterosexual sexual activity outside the bonds of marriage is sinful and that sex should always have reproduction in mind. Also, in what I can only describe as bizarre linear reasoning, these folks are of the opinion that birth control encourages promiscuity.
Groups such as Pharmacists For Life and the Christian Medical and Dental Associations encourage their memberships to refuse to prescribe or dispense contraceptives.
The American Medical Association has passed a resolution saying "patients should receive their medications without harassment and interference," but that seems to me to be small potatoes.
What Bryant's bill will really do is impact poor women living in rural counties where DHEC's family planning clinics have been shuttered by budget constraints.
But hey, girls, there's more fun waiting for us in the Statehouse!
H. 3171 would further punish drug-addicted pregnant women by making the existing punishments under child abuse laws more severe rather than offering addiction treatment and prenatal care.
All I've noticed is that these women were chemically dependent long before they got knocked up.
Howzabout the legislature does something about addressing the causes of drug addiction, so vulnerable women can make better choices for their lives and not just their reproductive activities?
H. 3288, the "Health Care Freedom of Conscience Act," will allow health care providers and health insurance companies to claim "conscientious objector" status as a reason for denying care and monetary coverage.
This tasty chestnut includes procedures one might be surprised to learn fall under its aegis.
The all-star lineup of abortion, birth control, stem cell research, and physician-assisted suicide are there, but artificial insemination and assisted reproduction (fertility drugs) would also be verboten.
Where's it going to stop?
I urge everyone who's not registered to vote to get out of the Barca Lounger and do so.
While you're at it, send a letter to the mullahs in Columbia and tell them to take a hike back to Persia, because South Carolina is part of a secular society no matter how deep in denial about that these jokers are.