How To: Testify Against the Abortion Ban
Jan 8, 2021
On Wednesday, February 3, 2021, at 2:30pm or 30 minutes upon adjournment of the House, whichever is later, the SC House Constitutional Laws Subcommittee will meet to hear testimony on S.1, a 6-week abortion ban. South Carolina, we’ve seen this before, now it’s time to take action. Members of the public will have the opportunity to submit prepared statements or give in-person/virtual testimony to the committee on Wednesday.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Each speaker will receive 3 minutes, once your time is up you won’t be allowed to continue speaking.
- VIRTUAL TESTIMONY:
- Registration for virtual testimony has closed, if you registered to testify virtually, you should receive an email from committee staff with instructions for how to join the meeting. Please see our note on testifying below for more information.
- IN PERSON TESTIMONY:
- If you wish to provide testimony in person, please go to Room 112 of the Blatt Building at the time of the meeting (2:30pm on Feb 3). There will be a testifier sign-up sheet at this location. You must add your name to this list to be heard in person.
- PREPARED WRITTEN REMARKS:
- Written: There is no limit here. Write exactly what you want legislators to know. Submit your remarks via email to HJudConstitutionalLaws@schouse.gov with subject line: S.1 Written Remarks
- Additionally, if you would like, you can send your testimony to WREN as well so that we can amplify your message on our channels. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Note on Testifying Virtually:
After the sign up period has closed the House Judiciary staff will email out a link for the hearing. From previous experience we know that this will likely be a Microsoft Teams meeting and you will be instructed to log in to the Teams link at the time of the hearing and will be placed in a waiting room until your name is called to testify. In the past, those who are in the Microsoft Teams waiting room cannot hear the proceedings of the hearing, so we suggest opening up the live stream of the testimony in another tab or on another device from the Teams Meeting.
During the Senate hearing on this bill some testifiers that were within the Microsoft Teams waiting room were kicked out, so you may have to continuously re-join the Teams link. If you don’t rejoin it then the House staff does not see you in the waiting room and will not call on you to testify. If you experience issues while waiting you can email staff and also tweet at members of the subcommittee. Rep. Justin Bamberg is a reproductive health champion on the subcommittee and his twitter handle is @JustinBamberg
BE PREPARED TO WAIT TO TESTIFY. In the Senate hearing a few weeks ago, some testifiers had to wait a few hours before they were admitted to testify. If you have to log off before you can testify, email WREN your prepared testimony at email@example.com so that we can share it on our channels.
- Time yourself. If you are presenting testimony via live video, we recommend practicing ahead of time. Use every second.
- Practice. Look in the mirror and practice your statement. Remember, even if you are in person, you’re allowed to read from notes. Write exactly what you want to say, how you want to say it.
- Be yourself. These legislators are people too, speak to them like you would a coworker. The subcommittee process is how we work together with legislators to provide information that will inform their decisions.
- Advocacy is a team sport. After you prepare your statement, encourage a friend to write one too! If you decide to go in person, practice your statement with a support network beforehand. If you need help or want to understand this process, WREN is always happy to provide assistance. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and a WREN staff member will assist you.
- Use your best judgment. There are both virtual and in-person options for testifying. If you plan to visit the statehouse in person
Not ready to testify by still want to make a difference? Tell your S.C. Rep to VOTE NO on S.1.
- Statehouse Map
- Address:1100 Gervais St, Columbia, SC 29201 –> This meeting isn’t at the statehouse exactly, it’s on the statehouse grounds. Check out the map above and find the Bladd building.
- Read the bill text.
- Parking: There are parking meters that circle the statehouse grounds
- The closest bus stop to the statehouse is on Assembly and Senate (Stop ID: 1324).