If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and considering abortion, make sure you follow these three steps first. You need to confirm how far along you are and if your pregnancy has a detectable heartbeat. 

Review your physical and emotional health with your healthcare provider. Learn about various abortion procedures, side effects, and potential risks. 

Be prepared. An abortion is a significant life-changing choice, and you owe it to yourself to understand as much as possible.

What is South Carolina’s Abortion Law?

Abortion is legal in South Carolina until a fetal heartbeat is detected, generally around 6 weeks. A woman must know the gestational age (how far along she is in the pregnancy) at the time of the abortion. 

Women must also receive state-directed counseling 24 hours before the procedure takes place, and a parent or guardian must provide consent for a minor to obtain an abortion.

How Do I Confirm and Date My Pregnancy?

First, start with a free medical-grade urine pregnancy test. Even if you have taken a home test, getting another opinion is vital. Experts estimate as many as 26% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. It is possible to get a positive pregnancy test days or weeks after a miscarriage.

By taking more than one pregnancy test, you get more accurate results. Sumter offers free and confidential pregnancy tests. Plus, we provide a free and confidential ultrasound if you meet our eligibility requirements.

Why Do I Need an Ultrasound?

The most accurate way to confirm and date a pregnancy is with ultrasound. An ultrasound provides the following important information:

  • The gestational age. This is the number of weeks you’ve been pregnant. Since the legal limit for abortion in South Carolina is six weeks (42 days), an ultrasound is essential.
  • Determines whether your pregnancy is growing with a detectable heartbeat or if you have had a miscarriage. 
  • Reveals the location of your pregnancy. Sometimes, a pregnancy grows in the wrong location. If that happens, it can be a life-threatening health problem.

Why Do I Need to Review My Physical and Emotional Health First?

Experts have determined that for at least some women, abortion negatively affects their mental health. Studies show that women who have had abortions have more mental health problems than women who have not. 

They also show that some women suffer mentally from grief, a sense of loss, anxiety, and depression because of their abortions. 

You also need to review your medical history. The Mayo Clinic suggests you cannot use the abortion pill method if you have any of the following: 

  • An IUD is currently in place
  • An ectopic pregnancy
  • Have certain medical conditions such as bleeding disorders or other diseases
  • Take a blood thinner or are allergic to the drugs
  • Can’t make follow-up visits to your provider or don’t have access to emergency care

What Do I Need to Know About Potential Abortion Risks?

Although abortion is only legal for up to six weeks or when a heartbeat is detected, there are risks with procedures available to you. All abortions involve bleeding and cramping, but do you know how much bleeding is too much? Or how much pain you should experience?

Although we do not perform or refer for abortions, the team at Sumter Pregnancy Center can give you factual information on abortion procedures, side effects, and potential risks. 

Contact us to learn more about our free and confidential services, such as pregnancy tests. Once you’ve taken a test, we can see if you qualify for a free ultrasound.

Get the facts and protect your health. We are here for you.