South Carolina ‘Unborn Infants’ Dignity Act (H 4759)

This law was last updated on Jun 29, 2016


This law is Anti–Choice Model Bill

State

South Carolina

Number

H 4759

Status

Failed to Pass

Proposed

Jan 27, 2016

Topics

Fetal Tissue, Human Embryo and Fetal Research

Full Bill Text

www.scstatehouse.gov

H 4759 would establish requirements for the final disposition of fetal remains, and prohibit the sale or transfer of fetal remains obtained from an abortion.

Fetal Remains

H 4759 would require the mother of a deceased ‘unborn infant’ be given the opportunity to bury or dispose of the bodily remains of her infant. In every instance of fetal death, irrespective of the duration of pregnancy, where a mother does not request the fetal remains, the funeral director or other person assuming responsibility for the final disposition of the bodily remains would need to obtain from the mother or her authorized representative a written authorization for final disposition on a form prescribed and furnished or approved by the Department of Health and Environmental Control.

An individual in charge of an institution where bodily remains were expelled or extracted who fails to provide the mother the opportunity to dispose of the fetal remains would be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than sixty days, or both, for each violation.

The mother or her authorized representative may direct the final disposition of the bodily remains to be burial, interment, or cremation.  Irrespective of the duration of pregnancy, the individual in charge of the institution where the bodily remains were expelled or extracted would be required to ensure that the final disposition of the bodily remains is by burial, interment, or cremation.

If final disposition of the bodily remains is cremation by the institution where the bodily remains were expelled or extracted, the bodily remains must be cremated separately from any medical waste.

Fetal Death Certificate

H 4759 would require a fetal death certificate for each fetal death to be filed with the state registrar, within five days after delivery, miscarriage, or abortion.

The funeral director or person assuming responsibility for the final disposition of the bodily remains would need to file the fetal death certificate. In the absence of such a person, the physician in attendance at or after the expulsion or extraction of bodily remains would need to file the certificate of fetal death. The medical certification would need to be completed and signed within forty-eight hours after delivery by the physician in attendance at or after the expulsion or extraction, except when inquiry into the cause of death is required by state law.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control would need to establish a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth to be offered to the parents of a stillborn infant.

The person assuming responsibility for the final disposition of bodily remains or an individual in charge of an institution where bodily remains were expelled or extracted who violates this provision would be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, be fined up to $1,000 or imprisoned not more than sixty days, or both, for each violation.

Harvesting Fetal Remains

H 4759 would prohibit a person from knowingly selling, transferring, distributing, giving away, accepting, using, or attempt to use fetal remains resulting from an abortion.

No person shall aid or abet any such sale, transfer, distribution, other unlawful disposition, acceptance, use, or attempted use of fetal remains resulting from an abortion.

A person who violates this provision would be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, be fined up to $1,000 or imprisoned not more than sixty days, or both, for each violation.

Fetal Research

Fetal remains obtained from an abortion would not be allowed to be used in animal or human research, experimentation, or study, or for transplantation, except for:

  • diagnostic or remedial procedures which have the purpose of determining the life or health of the infant, ‘unborn infant,’ or the infant’s mother or preserving the life or health of the infant, ‘unborn infant,’ or the infant’s mother; or
  • pathological study.

A person who violates this provision would be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, be fined up to $1,000 or imprisoned not more than sixty days, or both, for each violation.

Fetal remains obtained from an abortion may be used for animal or human research, experimentation, study, or transplantation only if the mother makes a signed, written statement.

In animal or human research, experimentation, study, and transplantation, bodily remains may be used only if the attending physician with respect to obtaining the bodily remains from the mother makes a signed, written statement declaring:

  • the bodily remains have been donated by the mother in accordance with this article; and
  • full disclosure has been provided to the mother with regard to the attending physician’s interest, if any, in the research, experimentation, study, or transplantation to be conducted with the specific bodily remains.

A person who fails to obtain informed consent as required in this provision would be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, be fined up to $1,000 or imprisoned not more than sixty days, or both, for each violation.

Healthcare providers that fail to comply with the above requirements may also face suspension of their license for a period of at least a year.

STATUS

Based on model legislation drafted by Americans United for Life.


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