A new law being proposed in South Carolina would make it illegal for certain institutions to ask people for their COVID-19 vaccination status.
The bill's co-sponsor, Republican state Rep. William Chumley, said that ''the government has no place in making you or telling you to take the vaccination or threatening your livelihood if you don't.''
According to the bill, known as H.4848, any public, private or nonprofit entity that asks about someone's vaccination status could be fined more than $14,000, imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.
''South Carolina didn't want to get in this fight. It was brought to us by the federal government,'' Chumley told local media outlets.
The bill is being debated in a State House committee.
Fellow Republican state Rep. Wayne Long, another co-sponsor of the bill, told Channel 2 News that ''it's about protecting people from being forced or coerced into getting a vaccine for purposes of employment, admission to schools, or government services.
''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. And even for people who have gotten the vaccine — I've spoken with many of them — it's really a privacy issue.''
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