Yesterday, the South Carolina Senate adopted a budget amendment directing the S.C. Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) to allocate up to $7,500,000 toward reproductive healthcare for individuals already availing themselves of the state’s social safety net programs.
Senator Tom Davis’ amendment was unanimously adopted in the midst of protracted battle between legislators in both chambers with different views on how the Palmetto State should handle abortion.
Davis tweeted “Less unwanted pregnancies = less abortions” as he touted his amendment on Tuesday afternoon.
Davis told me the amendment is “about empowering women, especially those who are economically disadvantaged.” According to a 2016 Brookings Institution report, “low-income women are more than five times as likely than affluent women to experience an unintended pregnancy.”
“Multiple peer-reviewed studies conclusively show that access to birth control at an earlier age improves economic outcomes for women, such as increases in educational attainment and labor force participation,” Davis said before lamenting the reality that “too many women in our state are missing out on this opportunity.”
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Lawmakers are in the midst of debating a proposed $36.6 billion spending plan for the coming fiscal year – which begins on July 1, 2023.
Once Senators approve their version of the budget, House members will review changes made by the upper chamber before deciding whether to concur with those amendments. Any lingering disagreements between the two chambers would be hammered out by a conference committee – a six-member panel which negotiates a final spending plan for approval by both the House and Senate.
After that, the spending plan would land on the desk of governor Henry McMaster – who has typically refrained from materially changing budgets via his veto pen.
Count on this news outlet to keep readers up to speed on the status of this amendment – and the broader abortion debate – within the state budget.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
(Via: Coleman Rojhan)
Dylan Nolan is the director of special projects at FITSNews. He graduated from the Darla Moore school of business in 2021 with an accounting degree. Dylan primarily covers education when he isn’t producing video content. Got a tip or story idea for Dylan? Email him here. You can also engage him socially @DNolan2000.
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