GREENVILLE, S.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A South Carolina woman was arrested and charged with soliciting or performing an abortion earlier this week.
The Greenville (SC) Police Department incident report said in October 2021 that emergency personnel took the then-33-year-old woman to St. Francis Hospital after having labor pains.
The unidentified woman reportedly told medical personnel she took an abortion pill in an attempt to abort her fetus. She delivered a stillborn baby girl that was determined to be at 25 weeks and four days gestation. A death investigation revealed she obtained and consumed the abortion pill illegally.
Reportedly, the Greenville County Coroner’s Office reported the incident to Greenville Police.
Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network Chief Executive Officer Ann Warner believes this could signify things to come.
“South Carolina has a long history of charging women for pregnancy outcomes,” Warner said. “We’re one of only a couple of states that have a statute that makes it illegal to perform a self-managed abortion. And that has been used to prosecute women over the years.”
‘If, When, How,’ a reproductive justice organization says South Carolina has prosecuted three women dating back to 2004 for involuntary or voluntary pregnancy loss in South Carolina. Monday’s arrest makes for four women.
Currently, South Carolina bans abortions at about 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Just weeks ago, the South Carolina House of Representatives passed a bill 83-31 restricting abortion procedures – leaders removed a clause that would prosecute a woman for having an abortion in January.
Representative Heather Bauer is fighting the bill with her own women’s rights bill.
“I don’t believe handcuffs belong in health care,” Bauer said. “I think that the majority of my colleagues don’t believe that either. Most people who have an abortion already have at least one child. So threatening to arrest them, jail time, and having a criminal record doesn’t just hurt them. It hurts the entire family and community.”
Bauer is urging neighbors to call their local legislators and let them know how crucial access to wide-ranging health care is important to the entire state.
Warner says the W.R.E.N. is bridging the gap between the people who will be most affected by these bills and those who have the power to stop them.
“We are actively working at the state house with lawmakers to also implore them to stop any further bills from passing and to instead focus our efforts on legislation that will help make people healthier, safer, and more economically secure,” Warner said.