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Anti-Choice Bills Fail to Gain Support in GOP-Dominated South Dakota

Teddy Wilson

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.

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.

During the South Dakota Health and Human Services Committee hearing, Latterell made a series of controversial statements, including comparing Planned Parenthood to the terrorist organization ISIS. House lawmakers eventually gutted the bill.

Republicans hold 58 of 70 seats in the South Dakota house, and 27 of the state’s 35 senate seats.

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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.

The committee members voted unanimously to table the bill.

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.

HB 1156 was pending in the House State Affairs Committee, but Latterell withdrew the bill from consideration.

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