South Carolina Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act 2014 (H 4223)

This law was last updated on Mar 5, 2014


State

South Carolina

Number

H 4223

Status

Failed to Pass

Proposed

May 23, 2013

Topics

20-Week Bans, Later Abortion, Physicians Reporting Requirements, Reporting Requirements

Full Bill Text

www.scstatehouse.gov

H 4223 would have banned inducing or performing an abortion unless the physician first made a determination of the probable time of conception age of the “unborn child” or relied upon such a determination made by another physician. This provision would not have applied in case of a medical emergency, rape, incest, or severe fetal anomaly.

The bill would have banned abortions if the probable post-conception age of the fetus or embryo is determined to be twenty or more weeks, except in case of medical emergency, rape, incest, or severe fetal anomaly.

The bill also states that an abortion performed after the probable time of conception age is 20 weeks must be performed in a manner that provides the best opportunity for the “unborn child” to survive, unless in the physician’s reasonable medical judgment, termination of the pregnancy in that manner would pose a greater risk of death or substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function than would another method. No such greater risk would exist if it is based on a claim or diagnosis that the woman will engage in conduct which will result in her death or in substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a bodily function.

The bill defines “probable time of conception age of the unborn child to mean “what, in reasonable medical judgment, will with reasonable probability be the time of conception age of the unborn child at the time the abortion is planned to be performed or induced.”

The bill includes legislative findings based on junk science that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks.

The purpose of the 20-week ban is to “assert a compelling state interest in protecting the lives of unborn children from the stage at which substantial medical evidence indicates that they are capable of feeling pain.”

Physician Reporting Requirements

Abortion providers would have been required to report certain information to the state department of health, including:

  • time of conception age;
  • if the determination of probable time of conception age was made, whether ultrasound was employed in making the determination, and the week of probable time of conception age determined;
  • if a determination of probable time of conception age was not made, why not—what was the basis for a determination that a medical emergency existed;
  • the method used for the abortion;
  • age of the patient;
  • if the probable time of conception age was determined to be 20 weeks or more and an abortion was performed, whether the reason for the abortion was medical emergency, rape, incest, or fetal anomaly. If the reason was medical emergency, what was the basis for a determination that a medical emergency existed.
  • if the probable time of conception age was determined to be 20 weeks or more, whether the method used to perform the abortion provided the best opportunity for the “unborn child” to survive, and if not, why not.

Reporting Requirements

By June 30 of each year, the state health department would have been required to issue a public report providing statistics compiled from all the reports provided by physicians.

 


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