South Dakota approves abortion waiting period

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted April 4, 2011

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A new South Dakota law will require women seeking abortions to attend a consultation to learn about abortion alternatives and then wait at least 72 hours before they can undergo the procedure.

The law, signed by the governor on March 22, is believed to be the first of its kind to require a three-day waiting period after an initial visit with an abortion provider. The law, which takes effect July 1, also requires that physicians obtain written proof from patients that they sought counseling at a crisis pregnancy center before treatment is provided. Women experiencing medical emergencies are excluded from the law's requirements, but victims of rape or incest are not.

Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota called the law "an egregious violation of the Constitution" and said it plans to file a lawsuit to stop the statute. South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard's office said the state is prepared to defend the law against any court challenge. Proponents of the law have pledged to raise private funds to help finance the legal defense, according to Daugaard's office.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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