March 4, 2011
On Wednesday, the South Dakota Senate approved HB1217, a measure designed to protect women and help ensure that a decision to have an abortion is informed and not coerced. The bill establishes a 72-hour waiting period for an abortion, after a physician has consulted with the woman and completed a risk assessment. Additionally, the physician will be required to provide the woman with contact information for nearby pregnancy help centers for her to schedule a consultation with them so that she can be fully informed of the risks of the abortion procedure and hear about possible alternatives.
Chris Hupke, Executive Director, South Dakota Family Policy Council says this bill is all about education. Planned Parenthood has established themselves to be unreliable to provide the education (to women seeking an abortion). This bill would not be necessary if Planned Parenthood was doing their job. Citing cases where women are forced into an abortion by the father of the child, or feel pressured while emotionally vulnerable Chris goes on to emphasize that, Coercion is not choice. We are trying to make sure that (abortion) is a voluntary choice.
Governor Dennis Daugaard has appeared to indicate that he will sign the bill, stating in an article by the Rapid City Journal:
"I am pro-life, I've read the bill and I'm inclined to sign it, but I want to examine it along with the counsel of others to make sure there's no unintended consequences that haven't been identified during the debate."
Passage of this bill by both chambers is an enormous victory for life and we congratulate the South Dakota Family Policy Council for their tireless work on this bill. If signed into law, South Dakota will surpass the other states with the strongest safeguards ensuring that women are informed about their unplanned pregnancies.