South Carolina Abortion Laws

Code Section
44-41-10 to 85

Statutory Definition of Illegal Abortion
(1) Failure to meet standards for legal abortion; (2) self-abortion that does not meet standards for legal abortion; (3) use of instrument, medicine, drug, or other substance or device with intent to terminate pregnancy for reasons other than to increase probability of a live birth, preserve child’s life or health, or to remove a dead fetus. Partial Birth abortion: physician performing is guilty of a felony and subject to $5,000 fine and/or no less than 5 years in prison except when performed to save life of mother endangered by physical disorder, illness, or injury when no other medical procedure would suffice.

Statutory Definition of Legal Abortion
First trimester, with mother’s consent; second trimester with consent in hospital; third trimester, necessary to preserve life or health of mother; if basis is mental health must be so certified by two consulting M.D.s (one a consulting psychiatrist) in writing

Felony, fine to $5,000 and/or imprisonment 2 to 5 years for person unlawfully inducing abortion; fine to $1,000 and/or imprisonment to 2 years for mother soliciting abortion or self-aborting unlawfully; failure to obtain required consent is prima facie evidence of interference with family relations in civil actions; parents have common law rights; if abortion is intentionally performed without conforming to consent standards for minors or others: misdemeanor, min. $2,000-10,000 fine and/up to 3 yrs. imprisonment; third or subsequent offense: 60 days to 3 yrs.

Mother’s written consent required; if mother married and in third trimester, husband’s consent is required; if mother under 17 years and unmarried, parental/guardian consent of one parent required, except in medical emergency of if pregnancy is result of incest: court may order minor’s right to abortion without parental consent. Spousal, parental or legal guardian’s consent for incompetent woman


First trimester on advice of licensed M.D.; second trimester must be performed by licensed M.D. in licensed hospital; third trimester, second M.D.’s written recommendati on required, facts and reasons supporting recommendations must be certified by both M.D.s

Inside South Carolina Abortion Laws