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South Carolina

Biased Counseling & Mandatory Delay

A woman may not obtain an abortion until a minimum of 24 hours has passed after receiving a state-mandated lecture.  The physician or health-care professional is required to tell the woman the probable gestational age of the fetus and her physician or an allied health professional informs her of the procedure to be used and presents her with a form containing the following printed statement:  "You have the right to review printed materials prepared by the State of South Carolina which describe fetal development, list agencies which offer alternatives to abortion, and describe medical assistance benefits which may be available for prenatal care, childbirth, and neonatal care." 

The state-prepared materials must:  (1) depict or describe the anatomical and physiological characteristics of the fetus at two-week gestational increments; (2) describe procedures and their risks and the risks of carrying a pregnancy to term; (3) describe the mechanisms available for obtaining child-support payments; (4) include information about the availability of medical assistance benefits for prenatal care, childbirth, and neonatal care, including the names, addresses, and phone numbers of appropriate agencies; and (5) provide a comprehensive list of public and private agencies and services, including adoption agencies, available to assist the woman through pregnancy, upon childbirth, and while the child is dependent. 

Additionally, state-prepared materials must include a "list of health-care providers, facilities, and clinics that offer to perform ultrasounds free of charge."  Materials also must include a "scientifically-accurate statement concerning the contribution that each parent makes to the genetic constitution of their biological child."  The materials must be available on the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control website for downloading.  The website also must have a link to the list of health-care providers, facilities, and clinics that provide free ultrasounds.  This law applies to all facilities in which any second-trimester, or five or more first-trimester, procedures are provided per month.
S.C. Code Ann. §§ 44-41-30 (Enacted 1962; Last Amended 1990) -310 to -380 (Enacted 2010).

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