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South Carolina ‘Women’s Ultrasound Right to Know Act’ (H 4629)

This law was last updated on Jun 29, 2016

This law is Anti–Choice


South Carolina


H 4629


Failed to Pass


Jan 12, 2016


Co-sponsors: 36
Primary Sponsors: 1
Total Sponsors: 37


Forced Ultrasound, Informed Consent

Full Bill Text

H 4629 would require a physician to perform fetal ultrasound imaging and auscultation of fetal heart tone services on the patient undergoing an abortion at least twenty-four hours before the procedure, except in cases of medical emergency.

The physician would also need to inform the pregnant patient of the probable gestational age of the embryo or fetus at the time the abortion is to be performed.

Informed Consent

An abortion must not be performed or induced without the voluntary and informed consent of the patient upon whom the abortion is to be performed or induced.

At least 24 hours prior to the performance of the abortion, a physician or qualified person assisting the physician would need to obtain the patient’s signature on a certification form stating that:

  • the patient had been offered the opportunity to view the active ultrasound image of the fetus and to hear the heartbeat, if audible;
  • the patient had been offered the opportunity to receive the physical picture of the ultrasound image of the fetus; and
  • whether the patient requested to view the ultrasound imaging and hear auscultation of the fetal heart tone or if the patient opted not to view the images or hear auscultation.

Printed Materials

H 4629 would require the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to publish the following materials:

  • geographically indexed materials designed to inform the patient of public and private agencies and services available to assist a patient through pregnancy, upon childbirth, and while the child is dependent, including adoption agencies;
  • materials designed to inform the patient of the probable anatomical and physiological characteristics of the embryo or fetus at two-week gestational increments from the time when a patient can be known to be pregnant to full term.
  • information on the principal types of abortion procedures and the major risks associated with each procedure, as well as the major risks associated with carrying a fetus to full term;
  • medical assistance benefits may be available for prenatal care, childbirth, and neonatal care by providing the names, addresses, and phone numbers of appropriate agencies that provide or have information available on these benefits;
  •  information on the mechanisms available for obtaining child support payments;
  • a list of health care providers, facilities, and clinics that offer to perform ultrasounds free of charge;
  • a plainly worded explanation of how to calculate the gestational age of an embryo or fetus;
  • a scientifically accurate statement concerning the contribution that each parent makes to the genetic constitution of their biological child; and
  • forms for notifications, certifications, and verifications required by the informed consent provision.

The bill contains civil and criminal penalties for violating any of the above provisions.