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Reckon’s guide to abortion in South Carolina

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the long-held right to an abortion for every America and left abortion access up to each state for the first time in 50 years. That led to most abortions being banned in Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas, and other states, such as South Carolina, Ohio and Tennessee enforcing 6-week bans. We know more states have existing laws banning abortion that will soon take effect or will pass new laws to ban the procedure.

Information about abortion is changing quickly across the country. And in some states where abortion is already outlawed, healthcare professionals are navigating vague laws that raise questions about whether they’re able to share medically accurate information about the procedure.

Reckon is producing state-by-state guides to help our readers in states with bans understand where and how they can still find the science-based information they need about abortion. We relied ondatabases such as ineedana.com, talked to community-based abortion workers and verified information with local clinics.

Each guide includes information about current state law, information about the closest open abortion clinics and information about medication abortion.

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), the country’s leading membership organization for obstetrician–gynecologists, reiterated shortly before the Supreme Court ruling that abortion is essential healthcare.

Editor’s note: The abortion landscape is evolving rapidly. Our coverage reflects the most up-to-date information we have at the time of publication. Please contact us if you see anything in our stories that should be updated.

About the law:

Type of ban: 6-week

Exceptions: Threat to patient’s life or physical health; rape or incest; lethal fetal abnormality

Are there doctors in the state currently providing abortions? Yes

In 2021, South Carolina passed a 6-week abortion ban, but it was blocked. On June 27, 2022, federal courts allowed the law to take effect. The law makes performing an abortion a felony if an ultrasound detects a “fetal heartbeat.” The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists guidelines say that “fetal heartbeat” language is misleading: “In fact, there are no chambers of the heart developed at the early stage in pregnancy that this word is used to describe, so there is no recognizable ‘heartbeat.’ What pregnant people may hear is the ultrasound machine translating electronic impulses that signify fetal cardiac activity into the sound that we recognize as a heartbeat.”

Abortion providers face up to two years imprisonment for performing an abortion and/or a fine up to $10,000. The law explicitly protects contraception access and does not make it a crime for patients to receive an abortion.

Access to abortion pills via telemedicine: South Carolina law does not explicitly ban accessing abortion pills via telemedicine or mail, but the state does require multiple in-person visits to get the medication, effectively blocking telemedicine as a legal option. The most common medication is mifepristone. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has said that states cannot ban mifepristone because it has been approved by the FDA. Aidaccess.org, an international non-profit, provides doctor-led consultations and mails abortion pills to any state in the U.S.

Who will enforce abortion-related laws? Fourteen solicitors general are responsible for criminal prosecution across South Carolina.

Closest abortion provider to major metro areas in South Carolina (as identified by ineedana.com):

Three South Carolina abortion clinics are open and operating under the 6-week restrictions:

Charleston:

Planned Parenthood, Charleston Health Center

  • Address: 1312 Ashley River Road, Charleston, SC 29407
  • Phone: (843) 628-4380
  • Abortions available up to 6 weeks

Greenville:

Greenville Women’s Clinic

  • Address: 1142 Grove Road, Greenville, SC 29605
  • Phone: (864) 232-1584
  • Abortions available up to 6 weeks

Columbia:

Planned Parenthood, Columbia Health Center

  • Address: 2712 Middleburg Drive Suite 107, Columbia, SC 29204
  • Phone: (803) 256-4908
  • Abortions available up to 6 weeks

Abortion providers after 6-weeks:

Charleston metro area

Planned Parenthood, Wilmington Health Center

  • Address: 1925 Tradd Court, Wilmington, NC 28401
  • Phone: (910) 762-5566
  • Abortions available up to 13 weeks, 6 days

A Hallmark Women’s Clinic

  • Address: 1919 Gilespie St., Fayetteville, NC 28306
  • Phone: (800) 662-0522
  • Abortions available up to 20 weeks

Columbia metro area

Greenville metro area

Planned Parenthood, Asheville Health Center

  • Address: 68 McDowell St., Asheville, NC 28801
  • Phone: (828) 252-7928
  • Abortions available up to 13 weeks, 6 days

Planned Parenthood, Charlotte

  • Address: 700 South Torrence St., Charlotte, NC 28204
  • Phone: (704) 536-7233
  • Abortions available up to 13 weeks, 6 days

A Woman’s Choice of Charlotte

  • Address: 421 North Wendover Road, Charlotte, NC 28211
  • Phone: 800-298-8874
  • Abortions available up to 19 weeks, 6 days

Additional resources:

The Reckon state-by-state abortion guides were reported by Abbey Crain, Anna Claire Vollers, Anna Beahm, John Hammontree, Sarah Swetlik of the Alabama Education Lab and Erica Hensley of the Fuller Project. Clarissa Brooks, Alexis Wray, Katie Johnston, Madison Underwood and Abbey Crain provided graphics. R.L. Nave, John Hammontree, Ruth Serven Smith and Kelly Scott edited the guides.

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