South Dakota Senate Committee Defeats Bill for Pre-Abortion Meeting
by Steven Ertelt
February 11, 2009
Pierre, SD (LifeNews.com) — A South Dakota committee has voted to defeat a bill that would have required a pre-abortion meeting with a physician prior to an abortion. The bill is a response to concerns that women get very little information prior to making a life and death decision to have an abortion.
Although abortion advocates claim abortions should be between a woman and her doctor, implying some longstanding doctor-patient relationship exists, women normally don’t see the abortion practitioner until just before the abortion.
SB 92 would have required a pre-abortion meeting between the abortion practitioner and the woman one day prior to have an abortion.
However, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee voted 4-3 on Wednesday to kill the bill. The panel had voted 3-3 on the bill on Monday and slated a second vote for today.
Backers of the measure talked about how it is good medicine and how it would likely reduce abortions, but opponents said the bill was just another way to limit abortions.
Had it been adopted, the law would have placed more responsibility on Planned Parenthood, which runs the only abortion facility in the state, located in Sioux Falls.
Because no local South Dakota doctors are willing to do abortions, Planned Parenthood must bring in an abortion practitioner from out of state, usually Minnesota.
The bill would have required more frequent trips to the Planned Parenthood center and driven up its costs, something pro-life advocates say would be an ancillary benefit of the bill.
"It clearly would have a huge impact on us," said Kathi Di Nicola, media relations director for Planned Parenthood of Minnesota and the Dakotas on Monday.
Sen. Kathy Miles of Sioux Falls, who supports the bill, said it would put abortion on the same footing as hospital procedures where professional protocol allows a patient to question a physician before the day of surgery.
"In a hospital setting … you had the opportunity to ask questions. In an abortion clinic, a woman doesn’t get that opportunity. Is that right?" Miles said.
Sen. Tom Dempster of Sioux Falls opposed the measure.
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