Health and Education

WREN aims to be a collective force in identifying and reducing disparities that lead to low health and education performance indicators statewide. WREN recognizes that the health and education of women and children is crucial in order to ensure statewide prosperity. We advocate for policies that lower the barriers that families, predominantly women and mothers, face when accessing services, resources, and rights. Reproductive health is a strong focus of our advocacy and education efforts, and is supported through the Be the Voice campaign.

Education is also critical to enhancing the opportunities that women and girls have in our state. WREN advocates for affordable access to high-quality education, from early childhood development through post-secondary education, training, and certifications. We also advocate for girls’ and young women’s exposure and training to non-traditional career opportunities. We work to improve the quality and accessibility of information that will enable young people to delay pregnancy, protect their health, and increase their opportunities.

SC Pregnancy Accommodations Act Passed

 

Why It Matters In SC

Legislative Agenda

Policy Priority

Paid Family Leave for State Employees (H. 3560 and S.11)

This bill would provide state employees with 12 weeks of paid family leave for the birth or adoption of a child. Paid family leave is crucial to supporting working families’ economic security and promoting gender equity in workplaces. No one should have to risk their job or face financial loss when they need to welcome a new child.

Partner Bill

Pharmacy Access Act (S.628)

This bill would authorize pharmacists to prescribe contraceptives, which can make contraceptive care more accessible and affordable by eliminating the need for a separate visit to a health care provider to obtain a prescription. Expanding pharmacists’ scope of practice to include prescribing birth control helps alleviate many of the obstacles to finding and seeing a doctor that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

Partner Bill

Female Health and Wellness Act (H.3747 & S.574)

The Female Health and Wellness Act, H 3747, would exempt feminine hygiene products from sales tax. The removal of the tax on period products would alleviate the additional monthly expense of paying a luxury tax on a necessary medical product.

Partner Bill

Confidentiality Bill (S.340 & H.4009)

This bi-partisan bill provides that non-profit sexual assault and domestic violence provider organizations are not required to disclose certain confidences acquired by clients during the provision of services to those clients. Certain exceptions are necessarily provided.

Partner Bill

Paid Sick Leave Act (H.3469)

This bill would provide earned paid sick leave to employees statewide.

Partner Bill

Dignity in Pregnancy and Childbirth Act (H.3225)

H.3225 would create an intentional study committee dedicated to addressing the disparities in Black maternal health that has buy-in from the legislative leaders in our state.

In Opposition

“Save Women’s Sports” Act H.3477

This dangerous bill would ostracize transgender students from their peers by banning their participation in interscholastic activities that align with their gender identity. Participation in gender-segregated activities would be determined by the student’s sex assigned at birth on their birth certificate. ​This bill would further stigmatize transgender youth and exclude them from the enormous physical, mental, and social benefits of playing sports.

In Opposition

Special Exemptions For Melting Plastics Industry (H.3753 and S.525)

WREN is committed to ensuring that all communities live in safe, healthy environments with the resources necessary to thrive because health does not begin and end at care and coverage. Good health and the decision of when or how to parent are intrinsically tied to other conditions, including access to safe drinking water, adequate housing, education, safe working conditions, and living free from violence. H.3753 and S.525 puts health and safety of communities at risk by removing the State’s authority to regulate pollution caused by plastic trash facilities.

In Opposition

6-Week Abortion Ban (S.1)

S.1 was passed by the South Carolina Legislature and signed into law by Governor McMaster on February 18th, 2021. A lawsuit was immediately filed against it and as a result, a federal judge issued an order blocking S.1 from taking effect. S.1 is not currently enforceable in South Carolina, abortion is still legal, and patients can still access abortion services in our state. S.1 was intended to ban abortion as early as 6 weeks, regardless of a pregnant person’s needs and circumstances. S.1 poses a serious threat to the health, freedom, and dignity of pregnant people. This was a far-reaching bill drafted by extremist politicians whose goal is to eliminate all abortion in South Carolina.