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South Carolina Abortion Laws

Code Section
23-4.7-1 to 8; 11-9-18; 23-4.8-1 to 5; 23-4.12-1 to 6

Statutory Definition of Illegal Abortion
(1) Failure to obtain informed consent (unless necessary to preserve life of mother); (2) failure to provide for any fetus born alive; administering to pregnant woman medicine, drug, instrument, etc. with intent to terminate pregnancy. Partial Birth Abortion is unlawful except to save the life of a woman endangered by physical injury when no other medical procedure would suffice, felony for abortionist, mother may not be charged. Partial birth abortion statute found unconstitutional in Rhode Island Medical Society v. Whitehouse

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

Physician who violates consent provisions guilty of “unprofessional conduct;” failure to provide medical care for infant born alive: fine up to $5000 and/or imprisonment 5 years; charge of manslaughter if baby dies

Informed written consent after required disclosures unless emergency; if mother under 18 years and unemancipated, parental consent of at least one parent required; court can consent; if married, husband must be notified if reasonably possible by physician or in written statement by woman unless separated or emergency


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