Advocacy and Health Policy |

Stop South Carolina Abortion Restrictions like SB 1

This article has been updated on August 17, 2022, to reflect new information.

Lawmakers in South Carolina are advancing numerous medically unjustified regulations on reproductive health care that would be harmful to women’s health and their futures, and that fundamentally interfere with the practice of medicine. 

COVID-19 continues to test the strength of our health care system, our economy, and our social safety net, and has only exacerbated and underscored already unsustainable health care inequities. Join ACOG South Carolina and our partners in women’s health in calling on state lawmakers to turn their attention to the urgent health care needs of our state’s women and families instead of focusing on divisive restrictions like SB1 that jeopardize health care access and outcomes.

UPDATE: The legal landscape is rapidly changing in South Carolina, including regarding the status of SB 1, a law to criminalize abortion after the detection of fetal cardiac activity. We know that as women's health care professionals, many of our patients and many in our communities will turn to us seeking information about how to access care. Find resources and referrals for patients seeking abortion care at

What is at stake

Medically unjustified restrictions on reproductive health care replace medical facts with political rhetoric and personal ideology. They tie the hands of health-care providers, interfering in their ability to provide the standard of care, delivered with compassion and respect, to their patients. These restrictions include:

  • Dictating the information and care clinicians provide to their patients, inappropriately inserting politicians into the patient-clinician relationship.
  • Denying bodily autonomy and the capacity to make personal healthcare decisions regarding pregnancy, which profoundly impacts an individual’s life, health, and wellbeing.
  • Effectively banning abortion by criminalizing abortion early in pregnancy—before many women even know they are pregnant, whether the fetus has a lethal anomaly, or what pregnancy complications may befall them. 
  • Criminalizing health-care providers for caring for their patients according to their medical training and professional judgement. 
  • Creating the possibility of a private right of action against physicians when they care for their patients within their scope of practice, a dangerous precedent for the regulation of medical practice more broadly.

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