As South Carolina legislature approaches crossover deadline, ACLU raises alarms over discrimination, unconstitutional proposals


CONTACT: Laura Swinford, 314-856-2799, 

COLUMBIA, SC — The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of South Carolina today voiced its strong opposition to selected bills currently under consideration in the South Carolina Legislature that would undermine South Carolinians’ constitutional and civil rights. In each case, the proposed legislation would strip away rights guaranteed under the South Carolina and U.S. Constitutions, and legalize discrimination against selected groups of South Carolinians.

“The ACLU of South Carolina will not sit quietly on the sidelines as politicians target South Carolinians’ rights to free speech and equal treatment under the law,” said Karen Culbreath, Interim Director of the ACLU of South Carolina. “We will continue to strongly oppose any legislation that seeks to discriminate against South Carolinians and deny them their full rights guaranteed under our state and federal constitutions.”

The ACLU of South Carolina strongly opposes the following proposed bills:

House Bill 1127

South Carolina’s proposed abortion ban not only seeks to deny access to abortion care, but would also criminalize the procedure and target health care providers for prosecution. Under the extreme proposal, physicians could be subject to the death penalty for performing an abortion. 

Senate Bill 531

SB 531 singles out transgender women and girls by enacting a sweeping ban on participation in athletics, violating both the U.S. Constitution and Title IX of the Civil Rights Act. In addition to the constitutional violations, the legislation would increase the psychological harms already proven to be suffered by children who are transgender. 

Senate Bill 907

Also known as the “Medical Misinformation Act,” SB 907 violates physicians’ freedom of speech by forcing them to give their patients who are seeking a medical abortions false information that is not scientifically proven, or supported by the medical community. 

House Bill 4776 

HB 4776, known as the “Medical Discrimination Act,” would allow all medical practitioners and health care institutions to refuse to provide care or perform a procedure they allege violates their conscience, which would legalize discimination against South Carolinians seeking medical care.

House Bill 3976

HB 3976 would, via vouchers, use public dollars to fund private and religious education. By directing public funds to religious institutions, the proposal clearly violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

House Bill 5183

HB 5183 is an anti-truth bill designed to censor the speech of students and educators in the classroom. The proposal would compel teachers to talk about the oppression of historically marginalized groups "impartially" and dictate how students would be allowed to discuss the impact of that oppression on our country. HB 5183 would further undermine educators by subjecting them to a vague investigative process if suspected of being in violation of the proposed law.