As lawmakers weigh future of abortion law, DHEC data points to who’s impacted

State lawmakers have a meeting about the future of abortion in South Carolina.
State lawmakers have a meeting about the future of abortion in South Carolina.(Chris Joseph)
Published: Jul. 7, 2022 at 9:19 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - State lawmakers began taking testimony on Thursday on a potential tightening of the state’s restrictions on abortion.

DHEC data lays out the demographics of who was receiving abortions in South Carolina before the Supreme Court brought an end to the Roe v. Wade precedent.

In 2021, a woman receiving an abortion in South Carolina was most likely a woman of color in her late twenties.

Just over half of the abortions happened after six weeks.

WIS pulled from DHEC’s 2021 abortion report and 2019 vital morbidity statistics report.

Here are the demographic highlights:

  • In 2021, 6,279 abortions were performed in South Carolina
  • Women ages 25-29 led all age groups with 1,836 procedures (29.2%)
  • Ages 20-24 represented 1,802 procedures (28.7%)
  • The 2019 vital morbidity statistics report found in 2019, more South Carolina women of color (6,398) received an abortion either in state or out of state than white South Carolina women (4,179)

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Planned Parenthood South Atlantic Director of Public Affairs Vicki Ringer expressed concern that further restriction on abortions will create financial burdens on women who may already lack resources.

2020 U.S. Census data shows Black and Latino household median incomes trailing that of white median incomes.

“The people who are impacted the most are those who will have trouble traveling to Columbia or Charleston, getting there before they’re six weeks pregnant before this ban starts. They already have limited access to doctors and healthcare in their communities and if they do have a doctor in their community, getting in to be seen and being able to afford it, because we haven’t expanded Medicaid,” she said.

It remains to be seen if or how the Republican-controlled General Assembly will implement a total ban on abortions.

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