Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., said Sunday her "Free Britney" Act is a "good, bipartisan first step" to protecting the rights of the roughly 1.3 million Americans currently living under conservatorships like pop singer Britney Spears.
Appearing on "Fox News Live," Mace thanked Spears for her "courage" in coming forward last month to detail the alleged abuse she’s suffered under her conservatorship that controls her life and money. After more than a decade of silence on the issue, Spears asked a judge to terminate the agreement that deemed her mentally unfit, accusing her father and management team of abusing the conservatorship and mistreating her.
On July 14, Spears was permitted to choose her own attorney, Mathew S. Rosengart, who said he is working to have the agreement terminated. After the resignation of her management team, Spears’ father is the sole conservator of her financial dealings.
"Her situation is a total nightmare, and if it can happen to her, of all people, then it can happen to anyone," Mace said Sunday. "We want to allow more accountability and transparency and this bill will do that."
"If you listen to Britney Spears, a lot of people are making a lot of money off of her," she continued. "She’s been working every year since she was in this conservatorship. As a mom, one of the things I was really disturbed by is they’re forcing her on birth control, an IUD, to not allow her to have kids. I mean, it’s just really crazy what’s going on. These are things that happen in communist China, not the United States of America. And I think this is a really good bipartisan first step to seeing reform."
Mace said her legislation, co-sponsored by Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., would allow people under a conservatorship to petition the court for an independent caseworker or public guardian, who would not have a financial interest in the case, to oversee the agreement.
"To see a woman like Britney Spears have her most basic human rights permanently stripped away from her under the guise of ‘protection’ should be illegal," the congresswoman said in a Tuesday press release announcing the bill.
Crist said the legislation would provide people with "an escape hatch out of abusive guardianships" by giving them a caseworker to monitor for signs of abuse and to advise them of their rights.
"Abusive conservatorships can be an unending nightmare, and tragically we don’t know how many people are being held captive against their will under the broken guardianship system," he said in a statement. "Under the FREE Act, we would Free Britney along with the countless number of seniors and persons with disabilities being abused and exploited by the broken system."