What We’re Working On Now:

  • Enhancing access and quality of health services and information for all citizens and ensure evidence-based, consistent health information in our schools and
  • Advancing workplace policies that allow mothers and families to maintain economic stability while caring for their personal health and the health of family members.

WREN’s Policy Agenda 2017-2018

WREN is committed to advancing the health, economic opportunity, and rights of women, girls, and their families in South Carolina. WREN promotes policies that will help ensure South Carolina’s women and girls have every opportunity to live up to their full potential, which will in turn strengthen families, communities, and the overall well-being of our state. In the 122nd South Carolina General Assembly, WREN will pursue policy priorities that will reduce barriers and increase opportunities for women to work, to earn, to be healthy, and to care for their families.

Policy Priorities

 

Workplace Accommodations for Pregnant Employees

Pregnant women in South Carolina are increasingly working throughout their pregnancies, many without any problems. However, current policies do not adequately support those pregnant employees who may need minor accommodations to help them maintain their health and well-being, like sitting on a stool rather than standing. Women in low-wage jobs are most vulnerable when clear accommodation protections are not in place, because their schedules lack the flexibility and control that is afforded to most professional and white-collar employees. When reasonable workplace accommodations are not provided, employees may have to take early unpaid leave or discontinue breastfeeding their infants. Women with physically demanding jobs need temporary adjustments to their duties so that their health and safety can be protected as they work.
WREN proposes adoption of the “South Carolina Pregnancy Accommodations Act,” which will:

Click here to see our position on Pregnancy Accomodations.

Click here to see our Pregnancy Accomodations Fact Sheet.

 

High Quality Reproductive Health Education
Comprehensive health education is the foundation for preventing disease, mitigating violence, reducing unintended pregnancy, and laying the foundation for a healthy life. Young people in South Carolina deserve high-quality, accurate health information no matter where they live in the state. South Carolina teachers deserve clear guidance and tools to deliver accurate, complete, and consistent information.
WREN proposes the adoption of the following:

“Healthy Youth Act” amending the Comprehensive Health Education Act (CHEA) to:

Update the Academic Standards for Health and Safety Education, which are maintained by the South Carolina Department of Education. The standards act as guideposts for teachers as they select curriculum and design their lesson plans. The Academic Standards for Health and Safety Education are more detailed than the CHEA and outline required content for all grade levels. The Academic Standards for Health and Safety Education should be updated to:

Maintain South Carolina Department of Education budget provisos that:

Click here to see our position on Comprehensive Reproductive Health Education.

Click here to see our Healthy Youth Act Fact Sheet.

 

Access to Contraception
Contraception is an essential part of women’s preventative health care and should remain affordable and accessible for all women of reproductive age. Access to reliable contraception gives women and men the ability to plan their families, which expands their educational and employment opportunities, and improves the health of both mothers and children. Lowering logistical and financial barriers for the consistent use of contraception will maximize its health, social, and economic benefits.
WREN policy solutions:
Maintain the Public Employee Benefit Authority (PEBA) budget proviso that:

Add the Public Employee Benefit Authority budget proviso that:

 

Equal Pay

Equal pay is a vital concern for South Carolina’s working families, who increasingly depend on women’s wages to achieve economic security. On average, a woman who is working full-time in South Carolina earns 80 cents to every dollar that a man makes.1 Wage gaps exist in nearly every occupation, and even when women have the same education, make the same career choices, and work the same hours, they often earn less than men.2 With two-thirds of families in South Carolina having a woman as the primary or co-breadwinner, this wage gap is of paramount importance.3 A woman’s ability to earn equal wages can have a profound impact of the economic well-being of families in our state.
WREN proposes adoption of the “South Carolina Equal Pay Act,” which will:

Employees should have appropriate protections from discrimination and there should be an increase in transparency around pay, both in the hiring and promotion processes. These policies will allow our state to make a large step forward in closing the wage gap and improving the economic stability of women and their families.

Click here to see our position on Equal Pay.

 


1 U.S. Census Bureau, 2010-2014 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates Table B20017
2 The Self-Sufficiency Standard for South Carolina 2016. (2016, February). Retrieved November 2, 2015, from United Way Association of South Carolina website: http://www.uwasc.org/scstandard
3 U.S. Census Bureau, 2010-2014 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates Table C23007

 

 

In addition to these specific proactive policy measures, WREN protects every South Carolinian’s access to affordable, high quality healthcare; medically accurate, age-appropriate health information; privacy in matters of personal health; the ability to define and determine their own families; and the freedom to make informed, responsible life decisions. We promote responsible reproductive and sexual health policy making, and we defend women’s access to their rights.

Click here to see our Personhood Fact Sheet, and read why we stand against this harmful policy that interferes with a woman’s right to make personal private decisions about her own body and her health.