The Planned Parenthood abortion business has filed a lawsuit against a new South Dakota law that instituted the longest abortion waiting period in the country — 72 hours. The measure also helps women find abortion alternatives.
Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, in conjunction with the national Planned Parenthood abortion business and the ACLU, filed suit against the state of South Dakota and Republican Governor Dennis Daugaard over the law, slated to take effect on July 1, that 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.
“The voters of South Dakota, by resounding measures at the ballot box, twice have told their legislators that the decision to have an abortion is between a woman, her family and her doctor, and that government should not intrude on that decision,” said Sarah Stoesz, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota. “This law goes farther than any other in the country in intruding on the doctor-patient relationship, and putting women and families at risk.”
PPFA attorney Mimi Liu claimed the law “has both the purpose and the effect of severely restricting access to health care, and violates patients’ and physicians’ First Amendment rights against compelled speech and patients’ right to privacy in their personal and medical information.”
And Brigitte Amiri, senior staff attorney with the ACLU, said, “It is demeaning for the government to force a woman to visit a non-medical facility with a political agenda when she is making one of the most personal medical decisions of her life. We hope the court will stop the law from going into effect.”
South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed the bill into law, 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.”
The governor, before signing the law, said he has talked with state attorneys who are willing to defend the law and he pointed to a private donor who is willing to finance the state’s costs for defending the law.
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 at the Planned Parenthood in Sioux Falls, the state’s only abortion center. 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.
The House voted 49-19 for the bill, but, first, Democratic Rep. Peggy Gibson and other abortion advocates promised the bill would be challenged in court as supposedly unconstitutional and intruding into the doctor-patient relationship — even though women getting abortions have never met the abortion practitioner beforehand.
The Judiciary Committee voted 9-4 for the bill. 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.
“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.