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South Carolina Legislators Want 'Stand Your Ground' Expanded To Fetuses

Is the effort to expand Stand Your Ground laws to fetuses really an end run to a personhood statute?
South Carolina Legislators Want 'Stand Your Ground' Expanded To Fetuses

South Carolina legislators are trying to expand Stand Your Ground laws to fetuses, while proclaiming such a change to be of advantage to women. I suspect the opposite is true, and that they are really working to try and sneak a stealth personhood statute through.


On Thursday, a Senate committee in South Carolina voted to expand the state’s so-called “Stand Your Ground” law to approve the use of deadly force to protect a fetus. The proposal would grant pregnant women protection from prosecution if they were defending their “unborn children,” defined as “the offspring of human beings from conception until birth.”

Proponents of the legislation claim that it’s necessary because the state’s current Stand Your Ground law isn’t broad enough. Although South Carolina already authorizes deadly force to protect against “imminent peril of death or great bodily injury,” some Republican lawmakers argue that doesn’t go far enough to protect pregnant women from all of the physical attacks that may harm their fetus, like being punched in the stomach.

Critics, on the other hand, believe it’s simply redundant. They also warn that granting more legal protections to fetuses, and defining life as beginning at conception, could end up threatening reproductive rights.

“There is some evidence that abortion opponents have been pursuing fetal homicide laws because they hope it will undermine abortion rights. It seems to be part of their overall strategy,” Elizabeth Nash, the states policy manager for the Guttmacher Institute, told ThinkProgress. Indeed, this back-door strategy to advance “personhood” has started to pop up in states around the country.

Of course, their paeans to "life" and "personhood" expire at birth. After that, the kids are completely on their own and women shamed if they're poor, single, or needy.

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