District Courts Block Enforcement of South Dakota, Idaho Abortion Restrictions

In the past two weeks, district courts have issued temporary injunctions against laws that would restrict abortion access in South Dakota and Idaho. The South Dakota law required doctors to inform women of the risks, consequences and alternatives to abortion at least two hours before the procedure, and the law specifically required women hear that abortion “terminates the life of a human being” and that women have a legal relationship with the “unborn child,” reports Kaiser. Planned Parenthood of Minnesota/North Dakota/South Dakota challenged the law. According to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, District Court Judge Karen Schreier issued a temporary injunction blocking enforcement of the law in South Dakota last Thursday, ruling that “the informed-consent provisions of the statute are unconstitutional compelled speech rather than reasonable regulations of the medical profession.”

The Idaho law required parental notification of minors seeking abortions and that a police report be filed if someone seeking to waive the notification requirement had engaged in criminal activity. In Idaho, extramarital sex is illegal, and the law has been enforced in recent years, reports Kaiser. These provisions were in previous versions of Idaho’s parental consent laws, and had previously been ruled unconstitutional. Last week, US District Judge Lynn Winmill issued a temporary injunction, ruling that the law jeopardized the confidentiality of teens who needed emergency procedures or who would need to waive the notification requirement. Rebecca Poedy, president of Planned Parenthood of Idaho, told Boise Weekly the decision “established that the safety of Idaho teens is more important than a political agenda.” Both cases now move forward to hearings seeking permanent injunctions.

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Boise Weekly 7/6/05; Kaiser Network 7/5/05, 7/6/05; Sioux Falls Argus Leader 7/1/05

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