January 25, 2022 | by: Sophie Brams | NEWS 2 |
“COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD)- Several South Carolina lawmakers want to make it a criminal offense to ask any person about their vaccination status.
H.4848, introduced in the State House earlier this week, would make it a misdemeanor crime to inquire about whether a person is vaccinated against COVID-19. A violation could mean a fine of no more than fourteen thousand dollars or imprisonment of no more than one year, or both.
The exact text reads:
“Notwithstanding another provision of law to the contrary, any employee, officer, agent, or other representative of a public, nonprofit, or private entity who inquires about the COVID-19 vaccination status of any student, employee, member, or anyone else seeking admission on the entity’s premises is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than fourteen thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.”
The bill was introduced by Rep. Burns (R-Greenville), Rep. Haddon (R-Greenville), Rep. Long (R-Spartanburg), Rep. Chumley (R-Spartanburg), Rep. McGarry (R-Lancaster), and Rep. Dabney (R-Kershaw)
“It’s about protecting people from being forced or coerced into getting a vaccine for purposes of employment, admission to schools, or government services,” Co-sponsor Rep. Long said.
He added that for his constituents it is largely a matter of personal privacy.
“I get calls from people literally every week begging the legislature to take some kind of action to protect people’s rights, to protect their privacy, and to keep them from being forced or coerced into getting a vaccine that they frankly don’t want to get,” Long said. “And even for people who have gotten the vaccine, I’ve spoken with many of them, it’s really a privacy issue.””