Take Action to Stop Abortion Restrictions
by WREN Staff on Feb 1, 2022
Learn more about the bills below.
907 – Medication Abortion Misinformation Bill
Medication abortion, referred to as “chemically-induced abortion” by anti-abortion extremists, has become the most common method of abortion across the United States, including here in South Carolina. More than 50% of all abortions in South Carolina are now performed using medication only. It is available to pregnant people up to about 10 weeks of pregnancy. A medication abortion involves taking two prescription drugs: mifepristone and misoprostol.
- Mifepristone blocks a woman’s own natural progesterone production, stopping the pregnancy from growing. Mifepristone, by state law, must be dispensed by a doctor in person. A patient takes this medicine at the abortion clinic, doctor’s office, or hospital.
- Misoprostol is provided to the patient to take home and use within 48 hours of taking the first drug. This medication causes cramping and empties the uterus, like a heavy period.
A medication abortion is very safe and highly effective. It can be completed comfortably and privately at home.
This bill requires medical professionals to provide unscientific, unethical, medically unproven, and potentially dangerous misinformation to medication abortion patients. Doctors will be required to give patients a statement saying their medication abortion can be reversed. The claim is that patients can take excessive amounts of prescription progesterone before taking misoprostol and stop the first pill from working. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Medical Association object to bills like this one because there have been no clinical trials to prove the safety or effectiveness of this practice, and there is no reliable evidence that medication abortions can, in fact, be “reversed” through a course of treatment.
In fact, clinical trials to test the safety or effectiveness of taking progesterone after taking the first medication abortion pill had to stop because of the dangers to some of the patients enrolled in the trials. Women began hemorrhaging and had to be rushed to the emergency room to stop the excessive bleeding.
Forcing doctors to provide this false information to patients violates all standards of medical care and ethics. It must be rejected.
988 – Abortion Ban and Personhood Bill
This bill would ban all abortions in South Carolina – with only one extremely limited exception – immediately if Roe v. Wade is overturned completely or otherwise dismantled.
The Supreme Court is now considering overturning Roe as it reviews Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. This case involves a Mississippi law banning all abortions over 15 weeks gestational age except in medical emergencies and in the case of severe fetal diagnosis. Oral arguments were heard in December and a decision is expected by this June. In their decision, the Supreme Court could overturn Roe completely, allowing all 50 states to make their own laws on abortion; allow states to completely ban abortion or pass more restrictions on care.
The only exception to this abortion ban is to save a pregnant person’s life. It is not enough that a patient may suffer serious danger to her health, her organs or her bodily functions, death must be quickly approaching. And a doctor must try to save the fetus, no matter how far along the pregnancy is, at the same time.
There are no exceptions for rape and incest or for a fetal diagnosis that means a baby cannot survive after birth.
This bill is often referred to as a “trigger law” because the bill is pending action from the Supreme Court. If Roe is not overturned, the bill would have no impact.
Another important aspect of S. 988 is that it defines “personhood” to begin the moment an egg is fertilized by sperm. About half of all fertilized eggs will never implant in the uterus, creating a pregnancy. The eggs will simply be shed by the body during a period before a pregnancy is ever established. More of those fertilized eggs, even after implantation, will never result in childbirth but will end in miscarriage.
A fertilized egg will have all the same legal rights and protections as a living, breathing born person, opening up all sorts of possibilities for criminal prosecution of pregnant people and other legal implications.
This bill calls for the criminal prosecution of any person who obtains an abortion and the medical professionals who provide abortion care. They could be charged with murder and could face the death penalty.
Certain birth control methods that allow eggs to be fertilized but not implanted will also be banned. This includes IUDs (intrauterine devises) and birth control pills. Some pills work to prevent ovulation and others work to prevent implantation.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) would be impossible to achieve in South Carolina. This bill would require all fertilized eggs to be stored in perpetuity in a frozen environment. A power outage or other happening that causes the stored eggs to be destroyed could result in a murder charge for the fertility doctor or practice. As one fertility doctor said, “There isn’t a freezer large enough to store all the eggs that must be retrieved to ensure successful pregnancies.” This bill doesn’t just harm people who want to end their pregnancies, it will have a significant impact on couples who are trying to have children.
If this bill is passed, people who have miscarriages can expect criminal investigations of those miscarriages. Did the pregnant person do anything to induce an abortion? Did she cause her own miscarriage? Women have been jailed in South Carolina for their pregnancy outcomes. This bill will only increase those harmful actions.
Abortion is health care which must be available to every person without fear of shame or criminal prosecution. Government has no place inserting itself into these personal, medical decisions made by patients, their families, and their doctors.