South Dakota Bill Regarding Pre-Abortion Counseling (SB 110)

This law was last updated on Jul 2, 2018


This law is Anti–Choice

State

South Dakota

Number

SB 110

Status

Current

Proposed

Jan 22, 2018

Topics

Crisis Pregnancy Centers, Informed Consent, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers, Waiting Periods and Forced Counseling

Full Bill Text

sdlegislature.gov

SB 110 establishes certain findings pertaining to pre-abortion counseling practices by abortion providers in South Dakota and amend provisions regarding mandatory third-party pre-abortion counseling.

Planned Parenthood – Sioux Falls, South Dakota

The bill declares that the physicians, agents, and employees performing or assisting in the performance of abortions and pre-abortion counseling at the Planned Parenthood facility in Sioux Falls, South Dakota have been providing pre-abortion counseling that does not comply with the mandatory disclosures required by state law.

The bill highlights this disclosure provided by the facility:

“Politicians in the State of South Dakota require us to tell you that some studies have found that women who have had abortions have a higher rate of suicide or thoughts of suicide than other women. We dispute this statement because it does not mean that abortion causes suicide or thoughts of suicide. In fact, no research study has ever established that abortion causes suicide or thoughts of suicide. Planned Parenthood and other medical organizations around the world believe that whether a woman  chooses to have an abortion or to have a baby, her chance of having thoughts of suicide or trying suicide will be the same.”

The bill claims that this written disclosure provided by the Planned Parenthood facility in Sioux Falls does not comply with state law, and expressly denies the disclosure required under South Dakota’s informed consent abortion law.

The bill highlights this disclosure provided by the facility:

“Politicians in the State of South Dakota require us to tell you that, as a matter of biology, the abortion will end a developing, living organism (an “embryo” or a “fetus”) of the human species (“Homo sapiens”) that has a complete, separate genetic makeup that is unique to that embryo or fetus.”

The bill claims that this written disclosure provided by the facility does not comply with state law, and is confusing and inaccurate.

The bill claims that the Planned Parenthood of Sioux Falls have provided written disclosures before an abortion that do not adequately disclose or explain the mandatory disclosures required by state law.

The bill highlights this disclosure provided by the facility:

“Politicians in the State of South Dakota require us to tell you that you are legally and constitutionally protected against being forced to have an abortion.”

The bill claims that the statement does not adequately provide, explain, or discuss the disclosures actually required by state law, which requires the following disclosure:

“that the pregnant woman has an existing relationship with that unborn human being and that the relationship enjoys protection under the United States Constitution and under the laws of South Dakota,”

and

“that by having an abortion, her existing relationship and her existing constitutional rights with regards to that relationship would be terminated.”

The bill claims that the required disclosures are important for the “pregnant mothers to fully understand that the pregnant mother has an existing relationship with her unborn child while the child is in utero, that the law recognizes this relationship has value to her, and that by terminating that relationship she loses something of great value to herself, and gives up one of the greatest rights she has in all of life.”

The bill claims that the use of the phrase “politicians in the State of South Dakota require us to tell you that…” is antithetical to the purpose and effectiveness of the disclosures, and evidences a hostility to the required disclosures and signals that the required disclosures, to the extent they are made at all, should be ignored.

The bill claims the staff of the Planned Parenthood in Sioux Falls have proven to be unreliable providers and counselors of the disclosures required by state law. The bill claims it is in the interest of pregnant people that such disclosures be included in the mandatory third party counseling provided by registered pregnancy help centers (crisis pregnancy centers).


Current law in South Dakota requires that a pregnant person seeking an abortion wait 72 hours and visit a crisis pregnancy center prior to the abortion for third-party counseling. The mandatory third party counseling provision of this law was found unconstitutional by a federal court in 2011.


Mandatory Third-Party Counseling

The law permits a pregnancy help center to:

  • Interview a pregnant person to determine if they have been coerced or pressured into having an abortion;
  • Provide counseling in connection with any coercion or pressure;
  • Inform a pregnant person of the counseling available to the pregnant person to assist them in maintaining their relationship with their “unborn child” and in caring for the child through the pregnancy center or any other organization;
  • Provide a statement orally and in writing to the pregnant person that “an abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being,” and provide counseling in lay terms that explain this disclosure, and to ascertain that the pregnant person understands this disclosure; and
  • Provide statements orally and in writing setting forth the disclosures required by subsections 34-23A-10.1(1)(c) and (d) and provide counseling in lay terms that explain those disclosures.

The pregnancy help center would be prohibited from discussing the physical or psychological risks to a pregnant person posed by an abortion. However, if a pregnant person requests such information, the center may schedule a separate appointment for the pregnant person with a physician.


CPCs have come under increased scrutiny over the last several years, as investigations have revealed that centers across the country have provided inaccurate information and neglected to follow proper medical protocols. (Source.) 


STATUS

Passed the senate on February 6, 2018, by a 27-8 vote.

Passed the house on February 26, 2018, by a 56-9 vote.

Signed by Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R) on March 7, 2018.

The provision granting more authority to third-party counselors will not take immediate effect, as the law it is seeking to amend is currently enjoined in federal court.


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