A new S.D. law mandates counseling about alternatives to abortion and establishes a 72-hour waiting period, the longest in the country.
WASHINGTON (BP)--South Dakota has become the first state to require a woman to consult with a pro-life pregnancy help center and to wait 72 hours before having an abortion.
The measure is one of many pro-life proposals that have received action this year in state legislative sessions in what has become a national wave.
South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard, a Republican, signed into law March 22 legislation that not only mandates counseling about alternatives to abortion but establishes the 72-hour waiting period, the longest in the country.
Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota said it would file a lawsuit against the barrier-breaking law, which is set to take effect July 1. Daugaard said he consulted Attorney General Marty Jackley before signing the bill. Supporters of the bill promised to use private funds to help defend the law.
Daugaard, in a written statement, said he thinks "everyone agrees with the goal of reducing abortion by encouraging consideration of other alternatives. I hope that women who are considering an abortion will use this three-day period to make good choices."
The new law requires a woman seeking an abortion to consult with an abortion doctor before waiting 72 hours for the procedure. During the consultation, the physician must determine the woman's desire for an abortion is voluntary. She also must visit a pregnancy care center to learn about services it provides to help her give birth to her child.
No other state requires such a three-day reflection period, although 24 states require either an 18- or 24-hour wait, according to Americans United for Life (AUL). Some states mandate a 72-hour period if required materials are mailed instead of presented in person to a woman considering abortion, AUL reported. Read More