Photo of two women, one wearing a black dress and one wearing a hot pink shirt and brown jacket. Kathryn Harvey, Spartanburg DPC and Amanda McDougald Scott, GCDP watching the SC House Judiciary Committee on the morning of May 9.

Testimony I Intended to Give to the SC House Judiciary Committee on 5/9/23

Amanda McDougald Scott, Ph.D.
2 min readMay 10, 2023

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Good morning, I’m Dr. Amanda McDougald Scott, here once again to speak against anti-abortion legislation in South Carolina.

One of my areas of expertise is early childhood, and in particular, child care. Unfortunately, instead of addressing issues that our state actually faces, such as making sure children are fed, housed, and cared for while their parents work, here we are again exacerbating every single one of these issues.

Since many of you are focused on being fiscally responsible, I wonder about the dollars wasted in taxpayer money

(over $32,240 a day just for the SC House)

to continue to debate bills that over half (53%) of voters in South Carolina believe that abortion should be safe and legal — according to several 2023 polls.

Currently, the cost of child care in South Carolina (for one child) is estimated to be about $932 a month — which is a 86% increase in just three years- from $500 in 2020! This rate is higher than the inflation rate.

Increased costs mean that more children are kept at home, which, due to the pandemic, we already know has had a staggering economic impact. The estimated cost of the current and future loss of U.S. women’s working hours, wages, and economic activity due to the pandemic is estimated to be $64.5 billion. What increase in cost should we expect if there is a sudden increase in the number of children needing care?

Yet, lawmakers who continue to push for bans.

This myopic focus and misuse of taxpayer dollars to pander to Republican evangelical primary voters is sad — especially in light of the fact that once the children are here, there is a dearth of child care or other child-friendly policies to greet the child.

I am asking you to please address the child care-related problems we already have in South Carolina, not exacerbate them. The pre-existing fractures in our society and system must be addressed. We can start to make a change moving forward NOW by

1- Providing access to health care through expanding Medicaid, with access up to 200% FPL.

2- Improving the South Carolina economy by systemically funding child care. Grants and other temporary stipends requiring applications, therefore additional work burden, are not sustainable. We must add the cost of state child care to the South Carolina budget- permanently.

3- Prioritize taking care of the workforce, families, and children who are already here.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I am happy to help move forward with better, family-friendly policies.

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Amanda McDougald Scott, Ph.D.

Advocate for social justice, mom to a 5-year-old, partner, friend. Political, child care, early childhood, psychology, and health care wonk.