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South Dakota Clinic in Danger of Losing License

A Planned Parenthood clinic in Sioux Falls, South Dakota could lose its license if a legal battle with the state is not resolved. Last week, the clinic’s attorneys filed for a restraining order against the state health department to prevent it from revoking its license. At issue is an informed consent law passed in 2005 and a disclosure form proposed by the health department.

According to the Associated Press, Planned Parenthood argues that the law does not require the form – or specific words – to be used for informed consent compliance. The clinic’s filing stated “Nothing in the state’s opposition refutes that in less than a week’s time the state may proceed with an administrative action seeking revocation or suspension of Planned Parenthood’s abortion facility license for alleged failure to comply with the act…This constitutes irreparable harm warranting an emergency injunction,” reported the Associated Press.

The law requires doctors to inform women of the risks, consequences and alternatives to abortion at least two hours before the procedure. It specifically requires women be told that abortion “terminates the life of a human being” and that women have a legal relationship with the unborn child. Planned Parenthood of Minnesota/North Dakota/ South Dakota filed a lawsuit after the law’s passage and District Court Judge Karen Schreier issued a temporary injunction blocking 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:

Associated Press 8/19/09, 8/19/09; Feminist Daily Newswire 7/8/05

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