Reproductive Rights

South Dakota Bill Would Ban Second Trimester Abortions

A South Dakota legislator introduced an extreme anti-abortion bill in the state House last week that would ban the surgical procedure used in second trimester abortions.

via Shutterstock
via Shutterstock

HB 1241 would make performing the dilation and evacuation (D and E) procedure, used in later-term abortions when it is the safest way of protecting the woman’s life and health, a Class 2 felony, which has a maximum sentence of 25 years imprisonment and $50,000 in fines. An extra provision could allow it to be considered a Class B felony, which carries a potential life sentence for doctors who perform it.

“Even after South Dakota voters rejected efforts to ban abortion in 2006 and again in 2008, some legislators continue to pile restriction after restriction on a woman’s ability to maker her own health care decisions,” the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families wrote in a statement. “Politicians in the South Dakota Legislature are intent on continuing to make it even more difficult for a woman to access reproductive health care.”

South Dakota is already one of the most restrictive states for women’s health. There is only one clinic in the entire state that provides abortions, and laws mandate 72-hour waiting periods, which do not include weekends.

The bill currently has 17 co-sponsors.

Media Resources: RH Reality Check 2/7/14; Argus Leader 2/6/14; South Dakota Legislature 2/4/14; Feminist Newswire 6/28/12, 2/21/13, 3/11/13

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