MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — People between the ages of 25 and 29 make up the majority of those who obtain an abortion in the state, according to data from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).

There were 4,549 abortions reported to DHEC in 2020, according to a report released by the agency last summer. Numbers for 2021 have not yet been published.

In 2020, the state saw its fewest number of abortions since at least 2017.

Women between the ages of 25 to 29 make up 28.5% of those who obtain abortions in the state, followed by women between the ages of 20 and 24, at 28.5%.

A little more than half of all abortions performed in 2020 were at six weeks or less postfertilization, and 49.3% were between seven and 13 weeks. There has been only one abortion performed at 24 or more weeks during the last three years. 

The most common method was medical abortion, which accounted for 3,090 of procedures in 2020. The second-most commonly used method was electrical vacuum aspiration, at 1,062.

The data was originally published amid an ongoing legal battle over the South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act, which opponents said would essentially ban a majority of abortions in the state, as electrical activity can be detected at about six weeks postfertilization — before many women know that they’re pregnant.  

The bill was passed by the state legislature and signed by Gov. Henry McMaster in February 2021, and immediately faced a legal challenge from abortion-rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union of South Carolina. The legal challenge currently remains in federal court, which has filed a preliminary injunction blocking the law.

According to a poll from the Pew Research Center, 48% of people in South Carolina think abortion should be legal in all or most cases. About 52% think it should be illegal in all or most cases, and 6% said they were undecided.

The organization released the results of a poll last year that said 59% of Americans think that abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

In 2018, a little more than half of abortions performed in the state were obtained by Black women, according to data published by the Lozier Institute. About 38% were obtained by white women.

Of those who received an abortion, 79% were unmarried, 12% were married and 9% did not have a marital status listed.

Nationally, 59% of abortions are obtained by women who have children, according to the Guttmacher Institute, and 49% are women who live below the poverty level. About 62% are people who identify as being religiously affiliated. Of those, 24% were Catholic, 17% were mainline Protestant, 13% were evangelical Protestant and 8% identified with another religion. Of the total women who obtained an abortion, 38% reported having no religious affiliation.

About one-fourth of the patients were living at 100-199% of the poverty level. About 91% had a high school diploma. About more than 20% had a college degree.

Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed Tuesday that a leak of a draft opinion that suggests the Supreme Court plans to overturn Roe v. Wade was authentic. He’s ordered an investigation into the matter, calling it an “egregious breach of trust.”

Roberts said the document does not represent a final decision or position of any member of the court.