by Steven Ertelt
February 2, 2006
Pierre, SD (LifeNews.com) — The South Dakota state House has signed off on legislation that would authorize the state health department to inspect abortion centers in the state. The measure also requires any abortion facility to be officially licensed by the state.
The measure passed on an overwhelmingly bipartisan 65 to 2 vote and now heads to the Senate, which approved a similar measure already.
Rep. Gordon Howie, a Rapid City Republican, said he opposes abortions but wants to make sure they injure as few women as possible while they remain legal.
The bill originally called on abortion facilities to pay a licensing fee of as much as $10,000 but changed it to a much lower amount that outpatient surgery clinics are required to pay in order to make sure the law was consistent across the board.
The Health and Human Services Committee agreed the health and safety of women from dangerous abortions is significant enough to warrant state inspection of abortion facilities and voted for the bill 11-2.
Howie told members of the committee that medical facilities like hospitals, nursing homes, and other centers are already licensed, so it makes sense to apply those regulations to abortion businesses.
"I personally find the practice of abortion abhorrent," he said, according to an AP report, but asked the committee to adopt the bill as a good step to reduce abortions and help women.
Under the measure, HB 1198, the state would issue a license to an abortion business after a successful state inspection.
No one testified against the bill in committee, including no one representing Planned Parenthood, which runs the only abortion business in the state, located in Sioux Falls.
Rep. Alice McCoy indicated she voted for the bill because she knows of women who have had bad abortion experiences, according to an AP report.
"We inspect every other place that does health services," McCoy said. "Women need the protection."
TAKE ACTION: Contact the South Dakota state legislature and tell your elected officials you support the legislation. Go to https://legis.state.sd.us.