South Dakota Abortion Info. Law Sees Planned Parenthood Lawsuit

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 6, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

South Dakota Abortion Info. Law Sees Planned Parenthood Lawsuit Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 6, 2005

Pierre, SD ( — Planned Parenthood, which operates South Dakota’s only abortion facility, has taken a new abortion information law to court claiming that it requires its staff to provide women with false information about abortion’s risks and alternatives.

The abortion business has asked a federal judge to temporarily strike down the law and spokeswoman Kate Looby says a full-fledged lawsuit is forthcoming.

"Politicians can’t force doctors to tell patients things that aren’t true. That’s bad medicine,” Looby said. "Just because politicians believe something is true doesn’t make it so.”

Sen. Julie Bartling, a Democrat, sponsored the Woman’s Right to Know bill.

"We need to find a way to inform women contemplating abortions exactly what the consequences are, not only at the time of the abortion but down the road, emotionally, mentally, as well as possibly physically," she told the Associated Press after the bill received legislative approval.

"The information is not 100 percent there right now when a woman goes to an abortion clinic and they tell her what’s going to happen," she said. "I don’t think they’re told that an abortion could lead to a very emotional, mental trauma."

Nicole Osmundson, a nurse who has counseled women who have had abortions and regret their decision, said many had thoughts of suicide after the abortion and that they were not told of the trauma beforehand.

"They wished they’d been told it was a baby, not a blob of tissue," Osmundson said, according to an AP report.

Sen. Lee Schoenbeck, a Republican who also helped sponsor the bill, added that women should be told that abortions can cause numerous physical and emotional problems.

"This is designed to try and minimize the consequences," Schoenbeck said.

Governor Mike Rounds signed the abortion information bill, HB 1166, and three other pro-life measures into law in March. The proposal passed in the state House 58-10 and cleared the Senate on a 24-10 vote.

In 2002, 826 abortions were performed in South Dakota and the Planned Parenthood business in Sioux Falls performed 815 of them.

Related web sites:
South Dakota Right to Life –