The South Carolina Department of Health backed down on its recommended changes to state abortion clinic regulations this week after receiving hundreds of public comments, The Associated Press reports.
In September, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control released a series of proposed changes to the state abortion facility regulations and submitted them for public review, WBTW News reports.
Some of the proposed rules included requiring abortion doctors to have hospital admitting privileges and requiring abortion facilities to meet health and safety standards similar to other outpatient surgical centers. Another proposal would have changed parental consent requirements when a minor wants an abortion.
The department announced that it had suspended the proposed changes this week after being “inundated” with public comments.
Here’s more from the AP:
The state Department of Health and Environmental Control confirmed Tuesday the process is delayed indefinitely. It received nearly 460 comments on proposed changes put out in September for public review.
Officials had expected to hold a hearing in December and send recommendations to legislators.
“Because of the volume and scope of the comments received during the public commenting period, the agency has decided to take additional time to work through the comments before proceeding further,” said spokeswoman Cassie Harris.
There is no new timeline.
Holly Gatling, executive director of South Carolina Citizens for Life, told LifeNews:
We commend the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control for suspending the unneeded revisions to the Abortion Clinic Regulations that have been enforced since 2004. Abortionists in our state and the abortion industry attempted to overwhelm the DHEC staff with hundreds of changes intended to weaken or destroy the regulations. The regulations are strong and effective as they stand.
Local Planned Parenthood leaders, who submitted comments in opposition to the rules, also responded to the department’s announcement.
“We are encouraged by DHEC’s decision, and hope that, going forward, the revisions will not be based in politics, but rather reflect the constitutional protections of medical care,” said Vicki Ringer, a spokeswoman for the abortion chain.
South Carolina abortion activists were incensed when they discovered the proposed rule changes. The Planned Parenthood abortion chain claimed the new rules were an attempt to “shame women and put barriers in their way of seeking constitutionally protected medical care. Simply put, the regulations are based in politics, not medicine.”
While Gatling said the recent revisions were not needed, she also criticized the abortion industry for constantly fighting abortion facility regulations. She noted that it actually was South Carolina abortion clinic workers who brought the need for regulations to the attention of the state more than two decades ago.
“Abortion may be a doctor’s right to make a killing, but abortionists don’t have the right to operate in unregulated, filthy, back-alley style offices,” she said.
Gatling also emphasized that the ultimate goal is to establish protections for unborn babies both in South Carolina and nationwide.