Tell Them, a grassroots e-advocacy network in South Carolina, held their first ever Virtual March to advocate for reponsible reproductive health policies by the SC legislature. Tell Them organized over 3,500 marchers and sent over 2,500 emails to decision makers across the state. Below is a guest post by Emma Davidson, of TellThem!
Why am I passionate about responsible reproductive health policies? In my mind, there is no more pressing issue for South Carolina than reproductive health.
South Carolina statistics read like a laundry list of reproductive health problems. We currently have the 3rd highest rates of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea in the country, and 9th highest rates of AIDS cases. In fact the Centers for Disease Control has called South Carolina one of the Top 10 HIV “hot spots” in the country.
The teenagers of South Carolina are even more prone to reckless behavior. Over 60% of high school seniors in our state have had sex- and 15-24 year olds account for nearly half of the new STI cases statewide. 3 out of every 10 young women will become pregnant before they turn 20, and the births to these women cost South Carolina taxpayers over $150 million each year.
These are just a few of the reasons why I work so passionately towards bringing positive change to our state through responsible reproductive health policies. I firmly believe that in order to solve these problems, the people of South Carolina must call on their elected officials to increase access to clinics and doctors, require comprehensive sex education in public schools, and ensure confidential relationships between patients and their doctors.
However, one of the bright spots surrounding this issue are the numbers of people who are passionate and work so tirelessly to create better lives for the women and young people of this state. In less than 1 week, we were able to gather nearly 500 people together to stand up for reproductive health- and we’ve only just begun. Keep it up- join Tell Them’s Virtual March. And if you already have, get your collegues, friends and families to join up. We need every voice we can get, and together we’ll accomplish great things.