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South Dakota Attorney General Appeals Abortion Ruling

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley (R) is appealing a US District Court decision striking down two of three provisions of a 2005 state informed consent abortion law. In August US District Judge Karen Schreier upheld the law’s requirement that physicians tell women abortion “terminates the life of a whole, separate unique living human being.” However, she overturned the requirements that physicians inform women that they have a “legally protected relationship” with the fetus and that the procedure increases the risk of suicide, reports the National Partnership for Women and Families. Judge Schreier noted the lack of evidence supporting the idea that abortion increases suicide risk.

Attorney General Jackley seeks to have the two overturned provisions heard on appeal by the full court of appeals instead of a three-judge panel, reports the Sioux Falls Argus Leader. Two crisis pregnancy centers in the state, the Alpha Center in Sioux Falls and the Black Hills Crisis Pregnancy Center in Rapid City, are also appealing the overturned provisions, according to the Associated Press.

After the informed consent law was passed in 2005, Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota filed suit against it and Judge Schreier issued a temporary injunction to block enforcement of the law, ruling that “the informed-consent provisions of the statute are unconstitutional compelled speech rather than reasonable regulations of the medical profession.” The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals overruled this decision in 2008.

Sources:

National Partnership for Women and Families 9/22/09; Sioux Falls Argus Leader 9/17/09; Associated Press 9/18/09; Feminist Daily Newswire 8/21/09