The South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families is getting a healthy dose of support from the blogosphere today as the Orange to Blue campaign highlights the efforts to support women's reproductive rights there.
The South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families is getting a healthy dose of support from the blogosphere today as the Orange to Blue campaign highlights the efforts to support women’s reproductive rights there. From Daily Kos:
Two years ago, the people of South Dakota went to the polls and soundly defeated
an extremist right-wing maneuver to ban all abortions throughout the
state. But the anti-choice zealots never sleep. They’ve resurrected
their ballot measure, and although they’ve dressed it up a bit, it’s
still a referendum on whether abortion should be flat-out banned —
with no practical exceptions.
If the ban passes, the women of South Dakota — already grossly
deprived of reproductive health options — would simply not be allowed
to exercise their right to choose what to do with their bodies. Their
doctors would be unable to provide necessary medical treatment, even if
they deemed it to be critical. And every other woman in America would
have her constitutional right to choose thrown into question, as a law
specifically designed to appeal to Justice Anthony Kennedy would rocket
to the Supreme Court, inviting Bush’s Court to overturn Roe.
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This news is significant for the sexual and reproductive health community, in the same way that MoveOn.org’s petition efforts opposing the Bush Administration attempts to rewrite the definition of contraception based on an individual’s personal beliefs is — in both cases significant new media organizing are shining important attention on reproductive health issues.
“Our state is among the most difficult states in the nation for women to access abortion care .... With an overabundance of barriers and hoops to jump through, abortion has become nearly impossible to access for many women,” University of South Dakota senior Kerstin Tuttle wrote about the anti-choice measure just signed into law.
People seeking medication abortion care in South Dakota will be given misinformation about how to “reverse” the procedure after the state’s Republican governor signed a bill into law mandating that doctors dispense inaccurate information promoted by anti-choice groups.
The measure, HB 1157, requires doctors to provide pregnant people with “additional information” about medication abortion as part of the state’s so-called informed consent process.
The required information includes a statement, one not based on medical evidence, that a pregnant person can discontinue a mifepristone-induced abortion by not taking the misoprostol with which it is typically prescribed. The law requires the state’s health department website to disseminate information about the so-called reversal process.
Rep. Leslie Heinemann (R-Flandreau), vice chair of the house Health and Human Services Committee, introduced the anti-choice measure in January. Heinemann, a dentist by trade, argued that it was lawmakers’ responsibility to give South Dakota citizens the opportunity to stop the abortion process if they changed their minds, according to an Associated Press report.
The concept of “abortion reversal” is based on a 2012 paper published in the Annals ofPharmacotherapy.The paper claimed that medication abortions were reversed among four of six women included in the study. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), which represents 58,000 OB-GYNs and women’s health-care professionals, has questioned the veracity of the study and charged that public policy should not be based on the 2012 paper.
As part of the so-called informed consent law that was approved in 2005, South Dakota requires physicians to obtain informed written consent of the pregnant person before an abortion can be performed.
The consent process requires doctors to relay disclosures to people seeking abortion care, including more than 20 statements ranging from medical risks to contentions that the aborted fetus represents “the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.”
Overwhelming research and evidence shows that there is no link between receiving abortion care and experiencing depression or suicide. A 2011 literature review published by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges charged that it was “unwanted pregnancy [that] was associated with an increased risk of mental health problems.”
Kerstin Tuttle, a senior at the University of South Dakota, criticized HB 1157 before it was signed into law in a column published by the Argus Leader in February.
Tuttle, a member of the university Association for the Advancement of Women’s Rights and Students for Reproductive Rights, outlined her experience attending the legislative session for HB 1157, saying the meeting revealed state lawmakers’ “obsession with abortion, or, more specifically, with limiting abortion.”
“Our state is among the most difficult states in the nation for women to access abortion care …. With an overabundance of barriers and hoops to jump through, abortion has become nearly impossible to access for many women,” Tuttle wrote.
The university student said that the GOP-backed misinformation was not medically accurate or supported by any legitimate science.
South Dakota lawmaker Rep. Isaac Latterell (R-Tea) was unable to revive a bill that would have banned a medical procedure that is commonly used for abortion care. Latterell has introduced three anti-choice bills during the 2015 legislative session, with every one failing to pass the Republican-dominated legislature.
Latterell introduced HB 1230, which would have banned dilation and evacuation (D and E) procedures, often used in second-trimester abortions as well as in treatment of miscarriage. The bill repackaged legislative language from a controversial bill he introduced last year.
Latterell said that he planned to revive the bill, including even broader anti-choice language. “I am confident when the Senate committee is finished with its hearing, Planned Parenthood’s lies will be exposed. I look forward to banning dismemberment abortion once and for all,” Latterell told LifeSiteNews.
Latterell, during the committee hearing, offered an amendment that included the language from his original bill. He said he would leave it up to the discretion of the committee.
Lobbyists for both the anti-choice South Dakota Right to Life and the Eagle Forum testified that while their organizations supported Latterell’s bill in principle, it was not the right time to move forward with the legislation.
Latterell also introduced HB 1155, which would require that upon delivering a screening test result that is positive for Down syndrome, any health-care provider or counselor must provide printed materials provided by the Department of Health. The printed materials must contain up-to-date and medically accurate information about Down syndrome and contact information for support programs.
After the bill was passed by the house by a 52-12 vote, it was tabled in a 4-3 vote by the senate health committee. During the hearing, committee members expressed concern with the broad language of the bill, and the lack of enforcement mechanisms.
Another bill introduced by Latterell, HB 1156, would prohibit physicians from performing an abortion with the knowledge that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion because the fetus has had a genetic screening indicating that the fetus might have Down syndrome.
Latterell introduced a similar bill during the 2014 South Dakota legislative session.
The bill would make violation of the law a class 1 misdemeanor, but no criminal penalty may be charged against the woman upon whom the abortion is performed or attempted to be performed.