South Dakota Passes Bill Requiring Planned Parenthood to Tell Women Abortion Kills a “Living Human Being”

Opinion   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Feb 27, 2018   |   11:48AM   |   Pierre, SD

South Dakota lawmakers passed a pro-life bill Monday that requires abortion facilities to tell women that an abortion kills a “living human being.”

The informed consent bill passed the state legislature with strong support and now heads to Gov. Dennis Daugaard, who is expected to sign it, the Argus Leader reports. On Monday, 56 state representatives supported the bill, while nine opposed it.

South Dakota requires abortion facilities to tell women that an abortion will “terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being” and can increase risks of physical and mental health problems, including depression and suicide.

State Senate Bill 110 will help to ensure that women seeking abortions receive accurate information prior to making a final decision. Concerns were raised about Planned Parenthood, the only abortion facility in South Dakota, couching the required informed consent information in a dubious light.

Here’s more from the local news:

Senate Bill 110 asserts that physicians at Sioux Falls’ Planned Parenthood clinic, the state’s lone abortion provider, violated informed consent laws when they prefaced legally-required statements with the phrase, “Politicians in the State of South Dakota require us to tell you.”

National reproductive health groups said the bill is the first of its kind in its effort to write into state statute what physicians must tell patients, but also what they ought not to say.

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“I haven’t seen a proposal this prescriptive before,” said Elizabeth Nash, senior state issues manager at the reproductive rights think tank Guttmacher Institute. “It would really do a lot of damage.”

Informed consent laws help women make the best decisions for themselves and their unborn babies. They are important because abortion facilities sometimes lie to women or give them limited information about the effects of an abortion on her and her child.

Many states require that women be provided with information about the development of their unborn babies, abortion risks and alternatives to abortion. Some also require that women be offered the opportunity to hear their unborn baby’s heartbeat or see their ultrasound image.

South Dakota is one of only a handful of states that also requires women to be told that the abortion drug RU-486 possibly can be reversed to save their unborn baby’s life.