Abortion again on the agenda

Gov. Dennis Daugaard has signed the law mandating a three-day waiting period before a woman may have an abortion in South Dakota.

That’s the longest waiting period in the nation. Abortion opponents, long an active political force in South Dakota, want to reduce or eliminate virtually all abortions in the state. Abortion proponents want to preserve what they see as a woman’s right to choose.

In 2006 and 2008, South Dakotans rejected ballot measures that would have banned most abortions in the state. But many argue that this is a pro-life state that has been waiting for a law most people can support.

Is this it? Will a three-day wait persuade a woman to change her mind? Does the government have a right involving itself in this very personal decision?

3 thoughts on “Abortion again on the agenda

  1. Abortion is a legal procedure, and this law is nothing more than harassment. It was intended as a way to challenge Roe v. Wade without looking like it on its face. This law won’t stand, and it was never intended to. South Dakotan Republicans think we’re all stupid.

  2. The determination of whether a 72-hour vs. a 24-hour waiting period creates an undue burden on the woman seeking an abortion is the least of the problems with this law.

    The biggest problem is the mandatory counselling session at CPCs. By definition these pregnancy counselling centers must advocate against abortion. So to “protect women from coercion leading to abortions” this law requires them to attend a “counselling” session with paid or volunteer, medical or non-medical, unlicensed, unregulated “counsellors” who will use their usually religion-based personal beliefs to “try to coerce the women into not having an abortion.” And although the counselling session is mandatory, the counsellors have no obligation to document that a meeting took place. If there is a dispute, the doctor is charged for any misrepresentation. If a patient lies, the doctor is punished. If a patient wants proof that they were counselled, there is no requirement that the CPC provide any.

    The intent is to intimidate doctors from performing abortions. And to create additional obstacles for women so that some of them will give up or be unable to complete the requirements to obtain an abortion. The law is unconstitutional, violates patient privacy issues, and has no chance to be upheld.

    The argument about a 72-hour wait being reasonable is specious. No woman has an abortion 24 hours after learning that they are pregnant. Or 72 hours. Women are aware of what abortions are and should have access to accurate information about the procedure. To act as if women do not think about the consequences of an abortion or a pregnancy until their meeting with an abortion provider is insulting and condescending to women. For those women who seek an abortion because of health risks, requiring them to discuss the procedure with an untrained non-medical church lady is ridiculous. Should we send a man with heart disease to a naturopath who will counsel him on the use of odorless garlic and flax seed before he can see a cardiologist? It is no less inappropriate.

  3. passing laws that face legal challenges is reckless legislating- oh but then we learn someone or others may step forward to give money to defray the costs of litigation- somehow this all seems real stupid to me- why pass these kinds of laws??? Maybe the SD legislature is an abortion and Dennis is an unwanted republican anyway

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