COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTW) — The number of abortions reported to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control surged in 2021, according to newly released information from the state agency.
The 2021 report comes days after the U.S. Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe v. Wade and place decisions on abortion laws with states. South Carolina has since enacted a “heartbeat” law, which bans abortions after about six weeks.
There were 6,279 abortions reported to DHEC last year, up from 5,468 in 2020 and 5,101 in 2019, according to the data.
Of the abortions performed last year, 47.9% happened before six weeks gestation, and 51.3% happened between seven and 13 weeks gestation.
The most common method of abortion was done by medication, accounting for 4,623 abortions.
Most abortions were for women between the ages of 25 and 29, according to the data, consisting of 29.2% of abortions performed last year. Women between the ages of 20 and 24 were the second-most common, at 28.7%. There were 19 abortions reported for people under the age of 15, and 65 for those between 15 and 16, and 484 for those between the ages of 17 and 19.
Hundreds of abortion rights activists took to Chapin Memorial Park in Myrtle Beach on Wednesday to protest the Supreme Court decision.
“If you feel strongly at all about this cause we need your voice,” Anna Shull, who spoke at the event, said on Wednesday. “We need your voice on social media, we need it in person, we need it in your schools, we need it in every public place and platform that we can have you, we need your donations, we need your signatures, we need you.”
The ACLU of South Carolina released a statement after the Supreme Court decision on Friday blasting the move, stating that overturning Roe v. Wade will force women to remain pregnant against their will and will outlaw essential health care.
“The elimination of this constitutional right, which has been law of the land for 50 years, is just the beginning, with politicians making it clear that they are not done with their assault on our liberties,” the statement reads. “These same politicians who seek to control our bodily autonomy through forced pregnancy are poised to impose their will by challenging the right to birth control and the right to marry whomever you love–and even the right to vote. No right or liberty is secure in the face of a Supreme Court that would reverse Roe.“
Gov. Henry McMaster, meanwhile, praised the decision on Friday.
“Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a resounding victory for the Constitution and for those who have worked for so many years to protect the lives of the most vulnerable among us,” he wrote.