The South Dakota state House passed a bill that could extend the time women seeking an abortion must wait before having the procedure Wednesday evening.

House Bill 1237 would exclude Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays from being included in the already-mandated 72 hour waiting period. This could greatly extend the time a woman would have to wait for her procedure and push her further into her pregnancy. The bill passed the House on a vote of 56 to 13, and now goes before the state Senate.

In 2011, the South Dakota legislature passed a bill that was signed into law requiring women to seek counseling at crisis pregnancy centers no less than three days before having an abortion procedure. Despite legal challenges and an injunction, the waiting period provision was not overturned. South Dakota currently has the longest waiting period in the country. The requirement that women seeking counseling from a crisis pregnancy center before having an abortion is still being contested in court.

Media Resources: Argus Leader 2/20/2013; Associated Press 2/20/2013; Feminist Newswire 9/5/2011, 7/5/2011, 5/30/2011

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