South Dakota Abortion Cetners Must Tell Women Abortion Kills Children

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 20, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

South Dakota Abortion Centers Must Tell Women Abortion Kills Children

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 20
, 2009

Pierre, SD ( — A federal judge has struck down a South Dakota law that requires abortion centers to tell women that the abortion could increase the mental health risk of suicide. Judge Karen Schreier issue a ruling today striking down the law, calling it “untruthful and misleading.”

Concerning the suicide portion of the provision, the judge wrote that "such a risk is not ‘known,’" and, therefore, the "the suicide disclosure language of the statute is untruthful and misleading."

However, studies have consistently shown that abortion makes it more likely that women will consider suicide.

A March 2004 report from the National Institutes of Health revealed that suicide is now the third leading cause of death among America’s young people. In fact, for teen girls and young women, the suicide rate has tripled over the past 25 years.

While suicide among women in the typical abortion age range is rising, suicide rates for Americans in general are dropping across the country.
Dr. David Reardon, director of the Springfield, Illinois-based Elliot Institute, says abortion is partly to blame for the increase.

"Given the fact that more than half of all women having abortions are under the age of 25, and more than 20 percent of women having abortions are teenagers, the increased suicide rate among teens and young women is sadly not a surprise," Reardon said

An Elliot Institute study published in August 2003 edition of the Southern Medical Journal found that women who had abortions were seven times more likely to commit suicide than women who gave birth.

The federal judge also overturned a portion of the law requiring Planned Parenthood, which runs the only abortion business in the state, located in Sioux Falls, to tell women they "have an existing relationship with that unborn human being,” which is protected by law and that the abortion will terminate that relationship and those rights.
That disclosure is unconstitutional, Judge Schreier claimed.

The law in question also calls on abortion facilities to inform women considering an abortion that "the abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being."

Judge Schreier upheld that portion of the new aspects of the informed consent law the state legislature overwhelmingly approved.

Planned Parenthood officials had refused to follow the law and came close to the state health department revoking its medical license as a result.

The state health department drafted a letter to the abortion business on August 7 saying that, during an inspection in May, it failed to properly inform women of the effects of an abortion.

The letter, according to an Argus Leader newspaper report, gave Planned Parenthood until August 22 to submit a plan to correct its failure to follow state law.

The abortion business says it doesn’t have to follow the law because it filed a lawsuit asking the judge for an injunction to be able to leave women in the dark about what an abortion does.

The state legislature approved modifications to the informed consent law in 2005 with that instruction and information on the plethora of medical and psychological problems associated with abortion.

Planned Parenthood claimed making them tell women the truth about abortion’s problems would infringe on the free speech rights of abortion practitioners and filed suit against the law.

The letter, the newspaper says, follows a meeting between Planned Parenthood and state officials on July 30. When the meeting failed to result in the abortion business agreeing to follow state law, officials acted.

“We knew if we didn’t reach an interim agreement with them then this would occur,” Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Kathi Di Nicola told the paper. “It’s procedural, to an extent.”

After getting the letter, Planned Parenthood, on Tuesday, asked Judge Schreier for a temporary restraining order, which would prevent the state from making good on restricting its medical license.

After Planned Parenthood sued to stop the law, U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier granted the injunction it sought. She issued the ruling saying she believed Planned Parenthood would prevail in its case and agreed that first amendment rights would be improperly trumped.

The state appealed the ruling for the temporary injunction and a three judge panel of the appeals court agreed on a 2-1 ruling and continued the injunction.

But then the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overruled the injunction last July and the state began enforcing the law.

Assistant Attorney General John Guhin defended the law during the hearing before the appeals court.

"The Legislature became convinced women are not getting information about the unborn life within them," he said at the time.

"The really sad part is that it might be a husband, boyfriend, even parents" who pressured a woman to have an abortion and the state legislature wanted women to know they have a right to keep the baby, he added.

Two pregnancy centers eventually joined the state as defendants in the case.

"When the pregnant mothers realize that abortion involves the termination of the life of a human being, they look at the procedure in a different light," Leslee Unruh, Alpha Center president, said previously. "It is not taken lightly and for most of the women this fact is of critical importance and leads them to search for other alternatives."

They also counsel women who have had abortions and say they were not well informed by the abortion centers beforehand.

Similar informed consent laws in other states have reduced the number of abortions and helped women in unplanned pregnancies find local agencies that will help them.

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