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South Carolina ‘Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion’ Act (H 3548)

This law was last updated on May 11, 2018

This law is Anti–Choice


South Carolina


H 3548


Failed to Pass


Jan 24, 2017


Co-sponsors: 31
Primary Sponsors: 1
Total Sponsors: 32


Dilation and Evacuation Bans, Personhood

Full Bill Text

H 3548 would prohibit a person from knowingly performing or attempting to perform a “dismemberment abortion” and thereby killing an “unborn child” unless it is necessary to prevent serious health risk to the life of the pregnant patient.

The bill defines “dismemberment abortion” to mean:

[…]the purpose of causing the death of an unborn child, purposely to dismember a living unborn child and extract him or her one piece at a time from the uterus through use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments that, through the convergence of two rigid levers, slice, crush, and/or grasp a portion of the unborn child’s body to cut or rip it off.

The bill provides for civil and criminal penalties.

This law targets a procedure known as dilation and evacuation (D and E), which is frequently used during second-trimester abortions. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, an abortion using suction aspiration can be performed up to 14 weeks’ gestation, but after 14 weeks the D and E procedure must be used to perform an abortion. As such, dilation and evacuation bans, depending upon their language, may ban all surgical abortion past 14 weeks’ gestation. (Source.)

Related Legislation

Based on model legislation drafted by the National Right to Life Committee.

Similar to H 4634 and  S 531, both of which failed to pass in 2016.


Passed the house on March 30, 2017, by a 83-17 vote.

Update #1

The bill was amended in the senate to create the “South Carolina Unborn Child Protection from Abortion Act.” The amended version would prohibit a physician from performing or attempting to perform an abortion unless it was necessary to prevent a serious health risk to the pregnant person.

The amendment would define abortion to mean “the intention of causing the death of an unborn child.”

The amendment would prohibit abortion for any reason excluding rape and incest and the life of the pregnant person.

The bill failed after a two-day filibuster by Senate Democrats.