2023-24 Human Rights & Human Services Advocacy

2023-24 Human Rights & Human Services Advocacy

2023-24 Legislative Advocacy

The League remains focused most intensively on its Making Democracy Work (MDW) campaign: voting and elections, redistricting, and opposition to constitutional convention resolutions. The League, as always, will attempt to advocate on all bills falling within our areas of interest as defined in state and national policies. Follow our latest Making Democracy Work (MDW) Network Updates to organizations that share our interests. 

Reference: LWVSC Human Rights & Human Services Positions/Issues

LWVSC 2023 Bills of Interest

2023-24 LWVSC Bills of Interest


Women's Reproductive Health

S.474 Six Week (“Heartbeat”) Abortion Ban
The League opposes this bill. It is sometimes described as a moderate approach, but it is not. It gains that claim only by contrast with the even more draconian House bill H.3774. S.474 would prohibit abortion before most women even know they are pregnant, and provides ineffective window-dressing in the form of a few exceptions. 


H.3774 Complete abortion ban, contraceptive access
The League opposes this effort to impose the religious beliefs of a minority of South Carolinians on all. H.3774 would force birth on those unwilling to carry a pregnancy to term. Access to contraception is the only positive feature of the bill. It does not outweigh the damage done by depriving South Carolinians of moral agency in a very important and personal decision.
H. 3563 Sales tax exemption for feminine hygiene products 
Sales tax is a regressive tax. The League supports H. 3563. Eliminating the sales tax on feminine products would improve access to those necessary products for women by reducing the cost.

Diverting Public Monies to Religious/Private Schools 

S. 39 Education Scholarship Fund  
We oppose Senate bill 39 because it aligns with current national efforts to privatize public education (Cunningham, 2021).  The League has consistently opposed any mechanism that diverts public money to private schools. 
S. 285 Education Scholarship Accounts (ESA) titled "Providing Academic Choice in Education (scholarships for private schools, tax-deductible) 
 The League of Women Voters of South Carolina has consistently opposed any mechanism that diverts public money to private schools.  Senate Bill 285 uses tax credits to fund private school scholarships, but the net effect is the same. The approximately 100 million dollars of income tax credits that could be awarded to scholarship donors is 100 million dollars that will not go into the state treasury.
H.3591 Constitutional Amendment 
If the General Assembly is inclined to enact mechanisms to divert potential tax dollars to religious or other private schools, then the League of Women Voters agrees that the question should be put to the voters. Our hope, indeed our expectation, is that the voters will agree that free public education is a public good and that funds intended for the public coffers should not be diverted to religious schools or to other private schools.

Gun Control 

S.127, S.638, S.109 Gun Access 
It is the national policy of the League of Women Voters that access to firearms should be regulated for public safety. We recommend forwarding S.127, helpful additions to criteria that disqualify individuals. S.638 provides for voluntary waiver of firearm rights, which could be helpful. We oppose S.109, removing requirements for permits and associated training to carry firearms.
S.440 Unorganized Militia
The League of Women Voters does not support this bill. An “unorganized militia” consisting largely of untrained and unsupervised persons, as described in this bill, should not have a right to unrestricted personal possession of weapons designed for the efficient and rapid killing of large numbers of people.

Transgender Bans

The League of Women Voters of South Carolina supports the right of all persons to autonomy in decision-making associated with health care. The ability to control our bodies, to have privacy in medical decision-making, and the right to make personal health care decisions are fundamental to our health, dignity, and freedom. The League opposes S. 627 and its companion bill S.623, because they violate these rights.

S. 627 prohibits medical treatments for gender dysphoria in the critical adolescent years. It prevents persons with this condition from making health care decisions for themselves in consultation with their physicians and families. S. 623 prevents persons from amending their birth certificate to accurately reflect their gender identity.

Hate Crimes  

H. 3014, The Clementa C. Pinckney Hate Crimes Act, and S.615, Hate Crimes
South Carolina is long overdue to join the 49 states and territories that have enacted a hate crimes statute. We ask that legislators forward these bills. preferably the Senate version, with a favorable recommendation.

School Curriculum

H. 3728 South Carolina Transparency And Integrity In Education Act
This public school censorship bill creates unnecessary risks for social studies teachers. The League of Women Voters supports the idea of requiring the Department of Education to create and make accessible model lesson plans for teaching the difficult topics of social studies. Codifying the best practices already used for handling parent complaints is sensible. Creating a process that encourages unfounded complaints against teachers and schools will undermine a public school system that is already in jeopardy.

Safe Schools

H.3360 Establish Center for School Safety & Targeted Violence at SLED
The League of Women Voters of South Carolina encourages you to vote in favor of H.3360, which establishes The Center for School Safety and Targeted Violence within the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) to provide training and education on school safety and targeted violence for law enforcement officers, school personnel, and parents.


Freedom to Read: Public Libraries, Schools 

On October 27, 2022, the League of Women Voters of South Carolina joined “Freedom to Read SC,” a statewide coalition of advocates and community leaders that will work to defeat unconstitutional efforts to ban books from school and public libraries. Read more about the coalition and access resources.