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South Carolina Family Compelled to Seek Out-of-State Abortion Due to Strict Local Laws

Family on emotional journey

South Carolina Family Forced to Seek Abortion Care Out of State Amid Strict State Laws

In the heart of the state of South Carolina, a family has been forced to navigate a challenging and emotionally harrowing health crisis involving a severe and fatal condition affecting their unborn child. The family, who wishes to remain unnamed to protect their privacy, was compelled to travel hundreds of miles to access critical healthcare due to the state’s strict abortion laws.

South Carolina’s Abortion Law

South Carolina’s abortion law, enacted in late August 2023, led to a significant drop in the number of abortions performed in the state. Prior to the law, there were 954 abortions undertaken monthly. However, in the months after, the number fell immensely by 80.5% to 186. Such laws were a natural consequence of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, which occurred exactly two years ago, revoking federal protections for abortion.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, even before this law took effect, many women were already leaving South Carolina to receive abortions in other states. In 2023 alone, 8,730 women sought abortion care elsewhere – a number higher than the 8,187 abortions recorded in-state by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. The highest number of women, 5,730, traveled to neighboring North Carolina for the procedure.

Impact of State Laws on Access to Abortion Care

The impact of state laws on access to abortion care has been far-reaching. After the Dobbs decision, about 171,300 women across the U.S. sought abortions in less restrictive states in 2023, marking a 130% increase since the decision, and an increase of 96,830 women compared to 2020. Many experts, including Serra Sippel, the interim executive director of The Brigid Alliance, an organization that helps women access later abortions, reckon these numbers may rise even higher this year.

The conditions of the South Carolina law have resulted in women having to travel longer distances for care, causing a domino effect where resulting demand means those same clinics are pushing back appointments by several weeks. This delay only adds to the complexities and overall costs of the procedure.

A Personal Journey

One South Carolina family’s story illustrates the traumatic consequences of the state’s restrictive abortion laws. The family was forced to seek late-term abortion care out of state when a mysterious virus began to destroy their unborn child’s brain and other vital organs, rendering his survival after birth next to impossible.

The family had to arrange travel, accommodation, and childcare for their other children during this ordeal. Fortunately, the Brigid Alliance stepped forward, covering and organizing travel and childcare, easing some of the burden on the family. A separate fund helped cover the $7,500 cost of the procedure, which the family would have otherwise placed on their credit card.

Despite this support, the experience was deeply agonizing for the parents. The weight of the impending loss, the daunting journey, and the severity of the procedure itself hung heavily over their heads. Forced from their home and everyone they knew during this trying time, the family decided to speak up. By sharing their story, they hope to expose the harsh implications of the state’s abortion laws and inspire much-needed change.


South Carolina Family Compelled to Seek Out-of-State Abortion Due to Strict Local Laws

HERE Irmo
Author: HERE Irmo

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