S.C. agency shares resources, options for expecting moms

Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 6:27 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Thursday, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson was sworn in as the first Black woman to the U.S Supreme Court.

But before she was sworn in, the court overturned Roe v. Wade, giving states like South Carolina the chance to enforce their own laws on abortion.

South Carolina lawmakers could make the state’s six-week abortion ban even stricter by banning abortions completely, or by removing exceptions to the law. Georgia’s six-week ban is not in effect, but that is expected to change.

We spoke with the Department of Social Services who say expected mothers still have options.

We know this is a hard and stressful time for some parents, but there are resources in both Georgia and South Carolina that can offer support for families having a baby.

In South Carolina, we’re seeing those strict abortion laws already taking effect. The Department of Social Services in South Carolina says it’s important for parents to know their options before making any life-altering decisions.

“I think it’s just a reminder that there are options out there if you find out you’re pregnant and you’re scared,” said Connely-Anne Ragley, South Carolina DSS.

Safe Haven for Babies, also known as Daniel’s Law, was created after a baby was found buried in a landfill shortly after birth in Allendale County.

“These are when a mother or a parent can decide to safely abandon their baby,” she said.

The provision applies to infants up to 60 days old. They can’t be harmed, and the person leaving surrendering the child to a safe haven cannot be prosecuted.

“Safe haven is defined by law, by the hospital, hospital outpatient facility, law enforcement agencies, fire stations, emergency medical or EMS stations, as well as a house of worship,” said Ragley.

Since DSS started tracking data in 2009, parents have surrendered 52 infants. They say just because abortion laws are becoming stricter doesn’t mean more kids will be in foster care.

“We can’t make a correlation where we automatically assume a child being born would end up in foster care,” she said.

The agency hopes this resource will encourage parents to make safe and healthy decisions.

“You are very courageous, and you’re worthy, and you’re making the best decision for yourself and the child that you’re carrying,” said Ragley.

On the Georgia side, nothing is official yet with abortion laws as it’s still being taken up in court.

There is a similar law that covers new parents called ‘The Safe Place for Newborns Act’, which is very similar to the one in South Carolina.

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