Lawmaker Who Voted for Abortion Ban Says He’s Losing Sleep Over Banned Abortions

South Carolina state Rep. Neal Collins, who voted for a six-week abortion ban last year, regrets it now that he understands its very predictable consequences.

Lawmaker Who Voted for Abortion Ban Says He’s Losing Sleep Over Banned Abortions
Screenshot:Fox Carolina (Fair Use)

South Carolina state Rep. Neal Collins, who voted for a six-week abortion ban last year, now apparently regrets doing so after a judge let that law take effect in June and the horrific yet extremely predictable consequences have begun. (The state Supreme Court temporarily blocked it on August 17.)

Now that the state House is considering a new, near-total ban, Collins is upset about the reality that he helped bring about. The second week the law was in effect, a doctor in Anderson, South Carolina, told Collins about a pregnant 19-year-old who came to the emergency room after her water broke at 15 weeks, Collins told his colleagues during a hearing. The fetus can’t survive if delivered at that stage, the doctor told him, but it still had fetal cardiac activity so hospital attorneys told doctors they couldn’t intervene with a dilation and evacuation procedure. They had to discharge her and wait for her to finish miscarrying.

It appears this conversation was the first time that Collins—a person who votes on bills that criminalize healthcare providers—learned incomplete miscarriages can kill people.

“The doctor told me…she’s going to pass this fetus in the toilet. She’s going to have to deal with that on her own. There’s a greater than 50 percent chance that she’s going to lose her uterus,” Collins said, sharing a story of the consequences of his own actions. “There’s a 10 percent chance that she will develop sepsis and herself die.”

“That weighs on me. I voted for that bill. These are affecting people,” Collins added. “That whole week I did not sleep.”

He made the comments last week, but video of the moment went viral on Tuesday.

One local news headline reads: “Rep. Neal Collins shares emotional account of Upstate teen impacted by abortion ban,” a ban he voted for apparently without hearing from any medical provider who could have told him that this would happen, as would the other horrors that we’re seeing in states across the country.

Conservatives like Collins are also learning just how unpopular their actions are, and appear hesitant to pass more restrictions. Voters in red states support abortion access, as Kansans recently reminded us. A recent Ipsos poll found that a majority of Americans, if given the chance, would vote for legalizing abortion. (Supporters included 76 percent of Democrats, 52 percent of independent voters, and 34 percent of Republicans.)

One of Collins’ colleagues also appears to be getting cold feet about totally banning abortions. Rep. Micah Caskey (R) said in an August 9 story that while he voted for the six-week ban last year, he resents the pressure to support ever more restrictive bills, now that the backstop of Roe is gone.

“It’s one thing to do it in practice. It’s another thing to do it for real. For all the energy and excitement and emotional expenditures around the heartbeat bill, there is absolutely a more concrete sense that what we do here is going to go into effect and be the law of the land in a way unlike the heartbeat bill,” Caskey said.

It sure seems like Republicans fucked around with life-saving healthcare and are now finding out.

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