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3 day wait law signed in SD. Is this a violation of a woman's rights?

PIERRE, S.D. - South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed a law Tuesday requiring women to wait three days after meeting with a doctor to have an abortion, the longest waiting period in the nation.

Abortion rights groups have already said they plan to file a lawsuit challenging the measure, which also requires women to undergo counseling at pregnancy help centers that discourage abortions.

Daugaard, who gave no interviews after signing the bill, said in a written statement that he has conferred with state attorneys who will defend the law in court and a sponsor who has pledged private money to finance the state's legal costs.

"I think everyone agrees with the goal of reducing abortion by encouraging consideration of other alternatives," the Republican governor said the statement. "I hope that women who are considering an abortion will use this three-day period to make good choices."

Supporters of the measure say South Dakota's only abortion clinic, Planned Parenthood in Sioux Falls, gives women little information or counseling before they have abortions done by doctors flown in from out of state. The bill would help make sure women are not being coerced into abortions, they said.

Opponents say the law forces women to go to pregnancy help centers that harass them, rather than providing sound medical advice. They also say the waiting period and the counseling are an undue burden for women who have a constitutional right to have an abortion.

The law, which takes effect July 1, says an abortion can only be scheduled by a doctor who has personally met with a woman and determined she is voluntarily seeking an abortion. The procedure can't be done until at least 72 hours after that first consultation.

Before getting an abortion, a woman also will have to consult with a pregnancy help center to get information about services available to help her give birth and keep a child. The state will publish a list of pregnancy help centers, all of which seek to persuade women to give birth.

About half the states, including South Dakota, now have 24-hour waiting periods, said Elizabeth Nash of the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports abortion rights. No other state requires women to visit pregnancy crisis centers before getting abortions, she said.

The South Dakota Legislature has passed several other measures restricting abortions in the past decade.

Voters rejected statewide ballot measures in 2006 and 2008 that would have banned most abortions in the state. Those measures sought to provoke a court challenge of the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion in the United States.

A 2005 law passed by the Legislature already requires that women be told that an abortion will end the life of a human being. That law remains tied up in a court appeal.

Answer Question
 
sweet-a-kins

Asked by sweet-a-kins at 1:48 PM on Mar. 22, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 34 (67,502 Credits)
Answers (41)
  • sweet-a-kins

    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 1:49 PM on Mar. 22, 2011

  • They arent being denied a right to an abortion. They are just being asked to wait 3 days. I dont see a problem, it is surgery and something some women probably should think about.
    gemgem

    Answer by gemgem at 1:50 PM on Mar. 22, 2011

  • I think this is completely reasonable. It gives the women time to digest the total implication. If she still chooses to proceed she at least has taken three days to think about it.
    tootoobusy

    Answer by tootoobusy at 1:50 PM on Mar. 22, 2011

  • They arent being denied a right to an abortion


    They are being forced to undergo counseling even if they dont want too and they are being made to wait for a medical procedure

    sweet-a-kins

    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 1:51 PM on Mar. 22, 2011

  • I don't see a problem with it. It's not the sort of decision that should be made on impulse. And while many women may have thought it through and know they are going to do it beyond a shadow of a doubt. If you know it's what you want 3 days is not the end of the world. There are women who do this impulsively and regret it later. If it reduces the likelihood of someone making a mistake in a moment of strong emotion and not rational thought then I think that's a good thing.

    It doesn't take away a woman's right to ultimately make the choice.
    kayslay

    Answer by kayslay at 1:52 PM on Mar. 22, 2011

  • I had to have some pre surgical counseling when I had my tubes tied, hernia fixed, etc. I didnt just walk into a clinic and say hey do surgery on me. If they are very convinced on having an abortion an hour of counseling wont change their minds anyway will it? If it does, then maybe it was not the right answer for them.
    gemgem

    Answer by gemgem at 1:53 PM on Mar. 22, 2011

  • "They are being forced to undergo counseling even if they dont want too and they are being made to wait for a medical procedure"

    You can never please everybody. The 'forced" counseling comes about from enough women complaining that they don't feel like they were properly informed of what to expect and talked through potential alternatives. If you let women be rushed... people bitch. If you don't rush them... people bitch. And having to wait for a medical procedure is not a new concept. In fact except for emergency situations most surgeries require you to have a consultation and work up done. I don't think you can just walk into a surgeon's office and say I'm ready for some double Ds, think we'll be done by dinner?

    All I'm saying is it seems like no matter what there will be people who are unhappy.
    kayslay

    Answer by kayslay at 1:56 PM on Mar. 22, 2011

  •  had to have some pre surgical counseling when I had my tubes tied


    I didn't


    The 'forced" counseling comes about from enough women complaining that they don't feel like they were properly informed of what to expect and talked through potential alternatives


    That's their issue, not the gov't's

    sweet-a-kins

    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 2:00 PM on Mar. 22, 2011

  • So what about rape victims? Are they really going to counsel them into keeping the baby?
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:24 PM on Mar. 22, 2011

  • Honestly, I think it's wrong. Most women, contrary to popular belief, agonize over the decision to have an abortion, and to make them jump through hoops like this once they decided to go through with it is just cruel, in my opinion. And counseling should be neutral, and go over ALL the options, not be used as a scare tactic to "discourage abortions" (as the article states). Abortion, like it or not, is a LEGAL procedure, and therefore should be available to women without anybody trying to force them to change their minds.
    Anouck

    Answer by Anouck at 2:25 PM on Mar. 22, 2011

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