South Dakota Abortion Law Takes Effect

South Dakota abortion providers are now required to recite a script telling patients that the procedure will “terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique living human being.” They must then warn the woman of a supposed increased risk of suicide.

The law additionally requires that doctors tell a woman seeking an abortion that there is “an existing relationship” with the fetus that “enjoys protection under the United States Constitution” and that, by having an abortion, “her existing constitutional rights with regards to that relationship will be terminated,” reports to the Washington Post.

The law came into effect last Friday, after a 2005 court order that prevented the enforcement of the law expired. It will affect the Sioux Falls Planned Parenthood, the only recognized abortion provider in the state.

“We have always believed and worked hard to ensure that every woman has the best, medically accurate information so that she can make the right decision for her unique circumstances,” said South Dakota Planned Parenthood President, Sarah Stoesz in a company statement. “This law is not about informed consent, it’s about compelling doctors to deliver state mandated ideology.”

South Dakota will also face a ballot measure this November. The referendum would ban all abortions with exceptions for rape, incest and a threat to a woman’s life, according the Associated Press. The measure is similar to a ballot measure rejected by South Dakota voters in 2006.


Washington Post 7/20/2008; Associated Press 7/18/2008; Planned Parenthood statement 7/18/2008; Feminist Daily Newswire 11/8/2006

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