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In South Carolina

After Roe, abortion will probably be illegal in most circumstances. Hear from Palmetto Family Council about what’s at stake, and how you can be part of the fight for life. Then, keep reading to find out more about what abortion law would be in your state after Roe.

After Roe, states will have an even greater responsibility to protect life. Partner with your state’s family policy council to ensure that your state is pro-life, from conception all the way to natural death!

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MORE ABOUT YOUR STATE’S ABORTION LAWS

Below, we’ve summarized what abortion laws would be in your state after Roe.


The Big Question

After Roe, will my state ban nearly all abortions or allow nearly all abortions?

South Carolina will probably ban nearly all abortions after Roe is overturned. South Carolina banned abortions after a heartbeat is detected in February of 2021. The law has been temporarily enjoined while the courts hear challenges to it. S.C. Code Ann. §§ 44-41-680. South Carolina may need to reapproach the law in an attempt to make it effective after Roe is overturned.

Abortion Limits, Exceptions and Enforcement

Limitations on abortions

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If my state won’t ban all abortions, what are the limits to abortion?

South Carolina bans abortions after the second trimester. S.C. Code Ann. § 44-41-20.

South Carolina also bans partial-birth abortions. S.C. Code Ann. § 44-41-85.


Exceptions to any limitations

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Are there any exceptions to those limitations placed on abortion?

Yes: The heartbeat law includes an exception for if the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest, there is a fetal abnormality present, or if an abortion is necessary to preserve the mother’s life and major bodily function. S.C. Code Ann. §§ 44-41-680(B)(1)-(4), 690.

The second trimester ban includes an exception for if two physicians in separate practices agree that an abortion is necessary to preserve the mother’s life and health. If they believe an abortion is necessary to preserve the mother’s mental health, additional certification from a psychiatrist is required. S.C. Code Ann. §§ 44-41-20.


Penalties for performing an illegal abortion

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What are the penalties to abortion providers for committing an illegal abortion (one of the forms of abortion that my state has limited under the law)?

Violations of the heartbeat law are a felony. S.C. Code Ann. §§ 44-41-680.

Violations of a second trimester ban are a misdemeanor.  S.C. Code Ann. §§ 44-41-36.

Violations of the partial-birth ban are a felony punishable by a minimum of 5 years in prison. S.C. Code Ann. §§ 44-41-85(A).


Enforcement

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When abortion laws are violated, who can file a lawsuit to enforce their rights and the law?

Mothers have a cause of action for any violation of the second trimester ban. S.C. Code Ann. §§ 44-41-740.

Fathers (if married to the mother) and maternal grandparents have a cause of action against a physician who unlawfully performs a partial-birth abortion. S.C. Code Ann. §§ 44-41-85(C).


Special standards of care

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Does my state impose a special medical standard of care on abortion providers?

No.


Protecting Fundamental Rights

Parents

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Does my state give parents the right to consent for their child to get an abortion?

Yes: Consent from one parent is required. A minor is defined as an unmarried mother under 17 years of age; however, this state has a method where a minor can obtain permission from the courts to receive an abortion without parental notice or consent.

A grandparent standing in loco parentis may consent instead.

Consent may be waived if the mother is a victim of rape or incest. S.C. Code Ann. §§ 44-41-10, -30, -31 to -37.


Medical professionals

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Does my state have conscience protections for medical professionals who do not want to participate in abortions?

Yes: No medical personnel or employees are required to contribute to or perform abortions. They must notify their facility in writing. They do not need to specify reason(s) for objection. S.C. Code Ann. §§ 44-41-50.

Hospitals and medical facilities are not required to perform abortions or allow their facilities to be used for abortions. S.C. Code Ann. §§ 44-41-40.


Babies Born Alive

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Are there legal protections for babies born alive following a botched abortion in my state?

No.


Safety & Health of Women

Physician-only requirement

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Does an abortion have to be provided by a licensed physician in my state?

Yes: one must be a licensed physician in the state in order to perform abortions. S.C. Code Ann. §§ 44-41-10(b), -20.


Informed consent

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Does my state’s law require that a woman give informed consent and/or receive counseling prior to allowing an abortion to be performed?

Yes: Counseling is required. S.C. Code Ann. §§ 44-41-30, -310 to -380.


Waiting period

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Does my state place any waiting requirement on abortion so that a mother has more time to decide?

Yes: A 24-hour delay after counseling is required. S.C. Code Ann. §§ 44-41-30, -310 to -380.


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