Last Friday, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard (R) signed into law a measure that will extend the time women seeking an abortion must wait before having the procedure. The bill passed the state House in early February and passed the state Senate last week. The law excludes Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays from being included in the already-mandated 72 hour waiting period. This will greatly extend the time a woman would have to wait for her procedure and push her further into her pregnancy.
In 2011, South Dakota enacted a law that requires that women undergo a 72 hour waiting period and mandatory counseling from a crisis pregnancy center (CPC) before obtaining an abortion. 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.