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Planned Parenthood Gives Up Stopping 72-Hour Abortion Waiting Period

by Steven Ertelt | Pierre, SD | LifeNews.com | 12/26/12 4:59 PM

State

The Planned Parenthood abortion business has given up trying to stop a 72-hours abortion waiting period in the South Dakota, in what is the longest abortion waiting period on abortion in the country.

The law in question, which has been embroiled in a legal battle since passage, would require women considering an abortion to visit a crisis pregnancy center before going to an abortion business to get counseling on abortion’s alternatives as well as the risks associated with having one. The idea behind the bill — which goes further than legislation in other states — is to get women tangible pregnancy help and support that they won’t normally find at an abortion center. The counseling would not require any out of pocket expense on behalf of the women considering an abortion.

On Friday, Planned Parenthood filed notice that it is dropping its case against the 2011 law.

“Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota said Friday that it was dropping the appeal of the 72-hour wait but will continue to fight another provision that requires women to undergo counseling at pregnancy help centers,” AP reported. “The group filed a motion to dismiss that part of the lawsuit without prejudice, meaning they may decide to challenge it in the future. A judge must still sign off on the dismissal.”

AP added: “Stoesz said Planned Parenthood, which operates South Dakota’s only abortion clinic in Sioux Falls, did not feel confident that the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals would have sided with them on the provision, saying the court has “ruled against women’s interests time after time.” Instead, she said the group will continue to focus on fighting the counseling provision.”

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed the bill into law in March, saying, “I think everyone agrees with the goal of reducing abortion by encouraging consideration of other alternatives. I hope that women who are considering an abortion will use this three-day period to make good choices.”

‘‘It will force women out of state, and prevent others all together from accessing an abortion,’’ the abortion business said.

Deputy Attorney General John Guhin argued that Planned Parenthood hasn’t provided any evidence that allowing women a chance to wait for an abortion while they consider alternatives goes against the high court decision.

About half of the states across the country have a waiting period but typically of 24 hours in length. No other state requires women to visit a pregnancy center beforehand but many give women information about such centers — which provide tangible help for pregnant women.

Rep. Roger Hunt, a Republican from Brandon who sponsored the bill, said he’s been contacted by many women who made it clear they did not get adequate information or counseling about abortion before getting their abortion. Women have told him of how they have been pressured into getting abortions but that the Planned Parenthood abortion center does nothing to help them resist it — just selling them an abortion.

“This is a matter of life. This is a matter of taking life,” Hunt said, according to an AP report. “This is about information and blocking coercion. These are all good and noble objectives.”

The Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls strongly supported the bill, saying it would provide the necessary “informed consent that must be given to mothers considering an abortion so that they are protected and not coerced.”

“This additional protection will also help to insure that mothers are as fully aware as possible of the implications and ramifications of the grave decision to terminate the most sacred gift of life,” it said.

The bill also requires the abortion practitioner to verify that there is no pressure or coercion on the mother when she makes the decision to have an abortion.

Several women who testified before the panel in its hearing on the bill said the state’s lone abortion center, run by Planned Parenthood in Sioux Falls, does not provide adequate pre-abortion counseling.

Brittany Weston, of Yankton, became pregnant at age 22 and her partner insisted she have an abortion because he did not want to pay child support for raising the baby. Before the abortion, Weston only spoke with staff at Planned Parenthood and she said she wanted the abortion clinic to provide her with help on how to deal with the situation — instead, it did an abortion and took the life of her child.

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“If this bill you’re discussing today was law at that time, I would have my child right now and he would be about 5 years old,” Weston said. “They took something from me I’ll never get back — my child and my soul.”

Kimberly Martinez, executive director of the Alpha Center in Sioux Falls, told legislators her pregnancy center has trained experts ready to assist pregnant women with options and alternatives.