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Culture > News

SC Senate 2022 Abortion Bills: A Simple Explanation Of Each Of Them

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at South Carolina chapter.

On September 1, 2021, Texas passed the most repressive abortion bill in the United States (at the time). Senate Bill 8 made it illegal for physicians to perform medical abortions once a woman has been pregnant for six weeks. The six-week pregnancy mark represents (in the eyes of Texas lawmakers) the formation of a fetal heartbeat. Medical experts disagree, however the bill was still passed and is still in effect. Senate Bill 8 seriously challenged Roe v. Wade, and it got a lot of support from other states.

Those states, including South Carolina, are now introducing new abortion bans to the senate. Bill 907 and Bill 988 have both already been introduced to the South Carolina Senate, but voting won’t take place until later this year. Until then, it’s incredibly important that women in South Carolina are made aware of exactly what these bills say and mean. If you’re not sure exactly what the senate is voting on, here is a straightforward explanation of the SC Senate 2022 abortion bills.

Bill 988

The “Equal Protection for Unborn Babies Act,” or Bill 988, would essentially make all abortions illegal, unless it was performed to save the pregnant person’s life. This bill uses the same method of conviction as Senate Bill 8, but all in all raises the stakes. If Bill 988 were to pass, physicians convicted of performing an abortion would face a murder charge and physicians convicted of an attempt to perform an abortion would face an attempted murder charge. There is no specified time period within a pregnancy that someone could legally get an abortion and there are no exemptions for cases of rape and incest in the Equal Protection for Unborn Babies Act. 

Bill 988 will only be certified if one of the following happens:

  • Roe v. Wade is overturned in whole or in part by the United States Supreme Court, making it so that SC can regulate abortion. Unfortunately, this decision was announced by SCOTUS on June 24, 2022. South Carolina now has the means to regulate reproductive health for the state.
  • An amendment to the United States Constitution has been adopted that means that South Carolina has the authority to regulate abortion.
  • Congress has passed a law that means that the State of South Carolina has the authority to regulate abortion.

So, passing this act is now a decision up to state lawmakers. It is now crucial that women in SC know exactly who they are voting for and what their reproductive health policies look like. With the overturn of Roe v. Wade, more than just abortion policies are subject to change. This bill is essentially up to governor approval, and SC governor elections will take place November 8th of 2022.

BILL 907

A chemically induced abortion happens when a woman is given both mifepristone and misoprostol to end a pregnancy. Mifepristone, taken first, softens the cervix and stops the pregnancy. Misoprostol is taken second and induces contractions to empty the uterus. Abortion reversal would occur if a woman decided that she wanted to continue her pregnancy after taking Mifepristone only. The idea is that her pregnancy could only continue if she is given the hormone progesterone to strengthen her pregnancy. Even though the studies conducted to perform this procedure are not supported by ​​an institutional review board or ethical review committee, anti abortion advocates are insistent that it should be offered to woman seeking a chemical abortion. 

Bill 907 would require physicians to share the following information with any patient seeking a medical abortion before administering the second pill:

‘PLEASE READ BEFORE TAKING SECOND PILL: Research has indicated that the first pill provided, identified as mifepristone, is not always effective in ending a pregnancy. If, after taking the first pill, you would like to change your decision, please consult a physician or health care provider immediately to determine whether there are options available to assist you in continuing your pregnancy. Medication is also available by prescription to help restore progesterone and potentially strengthen the pregnancy if you and your physician make that decision.’

This information is misleading, and could lead many pregnant women to put themselves in danger. Bill 907 would not only make it legal, but required, for doctors to try to convince women to put their bodies in harm’s way.

This act would take effect upon governor approval. 

Conservative lawmakers are working quickly to pass anti abortion legislation, so it’s becoming increasingly more important that we stay up to date with state legislatures and news regarding women’s reproductive rights. We can only put anti abortion legislation behind us if we can stay ahead of it.

Hannah Kelley

South Carolina '24

Hannah Kelley is a social media director at the Her Campus South Carolina chapter. Beyond Her Campus, Hannah is the social media intern for the University of South Carolina Libraries. She has also been a social media ambassador for multiple brands and is currently an ambassador for the Peace Corps. She is currently a senior at the University of South Carolina studying Mass Communications with a minor in Political Science.