2023 South Carolina Code of Laws
Title 44 - Health
Chapter 41 - Abortions
Section 44-41-10. Definitions.

Universal Citation: SC Code § 44-41-10 (2023)

As used in this chapter:

(a) "Abortion" means the act of using or prescribing any instrument, medicine, drug, or any other substance, device, or means with the intent to terminate the clinically diagnosable pregnancy of a woman with knowledge that the termination by those means will, with reasonable likelihood, cause the death of the unborn child. Such use, prescription, or means is not an abortion if done with the intent to save the life or preserve the health of the unborn child, or to remove a dead unborn child.

(b) "Physician" means a person licensed to practice medicine in this State.

(c) "Department" means the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

(d) "Hospital" means those institutions licensed for hospital operation by the department in accordance with Article 3, Chapter 7 of this title and which have also been certified by the department to be suitable facilities for the performance of abortions.

(e) "Clinic" shall mean any facility other than a hospital as defined in subsection (d) which has been licensed by the department, and which has also been certified by the department to be suitable for the performance of abortions.

(f) "Pregnant" means the human biological female reproductive condition of having a living unborn child within her body, whether or not she has reached the age of majority.

(g) "Conception" means the fertilization of an ovum by a sperm.

(h) "Consent" means a signed and witnessed voluntary agreement to the performance of an abortion.

(i) "First trimester of pregnancy" means the first twelve weeks of pregnancy commencing with conception rather than computed on the basis of the menstrual cycle.

(j) "Second trimester of pregnancy" means that portion of a pregnancy following the twelfth week and extending through the twenty-fourth week of gestation.

(k) "Third trimester of pregnancy" means that portion of a pregnancy beginning with the twenty-fifth week of gestation.

(l) "Minor" means a female under the age of seventeen.

(m) "Emancipated minor" means a minor who is or has been married or has by court order been freed from the care, custody, and control of her parents.

(n) "In loco parentis" means any person over the age of eighteen who has placed himself or herself in the position of a lawful parent by assuming obligations which are incidental to the parental relationship and has so served for a period of sixty days.

HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 32-681; 1974 (58) 2837; 1990 Act No. 341, Sections 2, 3; 1995 Act No. 1, Section 2; 2023 Act No. 70 (S.474), Section 6, eff May 25, 2023.

Editor's Note

2023 Act No. 70, Sections 11 and 12, provide as follows:

"SECTION 11. The Public Employee Benefit Authority and the State Health Plan shall cover prescribed contraceptives for dependents under the same terms and conditions that the Plan provides contraceptive coverage for employees and spouses. The State Health Plan shall not apply patient cost sharing provisions to covered contraceptives.

"SECTION 12. The President of the Senate, on behalf of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, on behalf of the House of Representatives have an unconditional right to intervene on behalf of their respective bodies in a state court action and may provide evidence or argument, written or oral, if a party to that court action challenges the constitutionality of this act. In a federal court action that challenges the constitutionality of this act the Legislature may seek to intervene, to file an amicus brief, or to present arguments in accordance with federal rules of procedure. Intervention by the Legislature pursuant to this provision does not limit the duty of the Attorney General to appear and prosecute legal actions or defend state agencies, officers or employees as otherwise provided. In any action in which the Legislature intervenes or participates, the Senate and the House of Representatives shall function independently from each other in the representation of their respective clients."

Effect of Amendment

2023 Act No. 70, Section 6, rewrote (a) and (f), in (g), substituted "fertilization of an ovum by a sperm" for "fecundation of the ovum by the spermatozoa", deleted (l), which had related to the definition of "Viability", and redesignated former (m) to (o) as (l) to (n).

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