Columbia (Wltx)- A timeline for when South Carolina will see new regulations on abortion clinics is now up in the air after the Department of Health and Environmental Control said they would hold off to sort through the public comments.
DHEC had originally planned a meeting on December 8th to take up the regulations but the public voiced their concerns during a month long public comment period.
Vicki Ringer with Planned Parenthood South Atlantic said some of the most concerning regulations were requiring clinics to have an OBGYNs with admitting priveledges, requiring patients to test for sexually transmitted infections, and mandating that husbands must sign off on abortions.
"Theres no requirement for the father to sign any agreement, it's just said the husband. and of course we know the husband may not be the father, and single women wouldn't have to get permission from anyone. so it really was just archaic," Ringer said.
DHEC has previously said those requirements for husbands signature and STI testing were made in error.
The last time abortion regulations were revised in South Carolina was two decades ago in 1996.
After starting the process last summer of updating regulations, DHEC published their new proposed regulations in September. The public comment period closed at the end of October.
This is the only statement the Agency would make to the public:
"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."
Regulations would ultimately have to be approved by lawmakers at the State House.
We did ask Planned Parenthood their stance on the 20-week abortion ban that went into state law earlier this year.
They said they aren't pursuing any lawsuits now, but those in states who have seen similar bans could sue and claim the ban is unconstitutional.