A woman should never be put in the position of having to choose between her baby and her job. The South Carolina Accommodations Act relieves that choice.
Palmetto Family Council has earned its stripes over the years for advocating strong, conservative social policy. Palmetto Family led the fight for the SC Marriage Amendment and has its fingerprints on the most aggressive pro-family bills ever to pass the South Carolina General Assembly. In those fights, we have allied with other groups that would most likely be labeled by the media “on the right.”
But sometimes there are opportunities that come along for common ground on issues that aren’t about left and right but about right and wrong.
Palmetto Family fought for a fatherhood registry to help more orphan children find permanent homes. We called for racial reconciliation and a more appropriate location for the Confederate Battle Flag in the wake of the Mother Emmanuel shooting. We fought abusive predatory practices in the payday lending industry. And, we called for a biblical approach to the treatment of animals that led to stronger laws on animal fighting.
Another issue in that unusual juxtaposition of right and left came along this year. It was known as the South Carolina Pregnancy Accommodations Act. The Greenville News summarized the Act this way:
“…the act requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees for medical needs arising from pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. The measure also prohibits employers from denying employment based on the need for pregnancy or childbirth accommodations or taking ‘adverse action’ against an employee who requests such an accommodation.”
In testifying on the bill in both the SC House and the SC Senate, Palmetto Family expressed its firm belief that a woman should never be put in the position of having to choose between her baby and her job. The alliance on this issue with groups who work for women’s rights, such as the Women’s Rights Empowerment Network (WREN) raised some eyebrows around the Statehouse. WREN and Palmetto Family had been working opposite sides of the Dismemberment Abortion ban just the day before the Pregnancy Accommodations Act hit the Senate floor. But on this issue, we found momentary common ground.
The unusual alliance for pregnant mothers was reflected on the House floor as well. Conservative Rep. Greg Delleney (R-Chester) used his final appearance before the House in regular session before his retirement to stand with leading Democrat and bill sponsor Rep. Beth Bernstein (D-Richland) and offer his support.
In our increasingly polarized nation, finding common ground is rare. But when the health and safety of women and children is at stake, Palmetto Family will always put family first.
Dr. Oran Smith
Senior Policy Adviser