Press "Enter" to skip to content

ACLU Joins Planned Parenthood to Overturn New SD Abortion Restrictions

Last updated on 2011.03.26

Following Governor Dennis Daugaard's signing of HB 1217, the American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota has announced it will join Planned Parenthood in suing to overturn this egregious violation of women's medical privacy and their access to a legal medical procedure. Here's what the ACLU says:

PIERRE, S.D. &ndash The governor of South Dakota signed into law today a bill that requires any woman seeking an abortion to first visit anti-abortion "crisis pregnancy centers" (CPCs) and report the name of the physician providing the abortion to CPC staff. The law also requires a woman to wait 72 hours between meeting with her physician in person and obtaining the abortion. This is the longest mandated abortion waiting period in the country. CPCs are unregulated facilities that are primarily run by private groups that seek to discourage women from having abortions, often by promoting false information. CPCs are also not required to follow standard medical privacy procedures that ensure a patient's medical information is kept confidential. The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of South Dakota, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America will file a legal challenge to the law.

Robert Doody, ACLU of South Dakota Chapter Director, says "The last thing women in South Dakota need is more difficulty in obtaining health services. This shameful law not only interferes with a woman's private medical decision, but also presents a danger to those who provide abortion care to women. Women need reliable medical care and advice, not government mandates that push a political agenda."

Brigitte Amiri, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, calls HB 1217 "one of the most egregious examples in a disturbing nationwide trend of assaulting women's health. This law has nothing to do with a patient's well-being but everything to do with endangering and humiliating women who seek abortion care. Women should not be punished for seeking a legal medical procedure" [ACLU-SD, press release, 2011.03.22].

Shameful, egregious, humiliating, endangering... yup, that pretty much sums up the 2011 South Dakota Legislature and Governor Dennis Daugaard's three months in office.

Update 13:15 CDT: But at least we're making the national papers.

Update 15:19: See also...


  1. RGoeman 2011.03.22

    Just curious, are men required to have the same thought-provoking conferences and waiting period prior to obtaining a legal vasectomy or having a vasectomy reversed?

  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2011.03.22

    Not by the state they're not.

  3. Wayne B. 2011.03.22

    By the same token, Rod, neither are women before getting their tubes tied.

    When I had my wisdom teeth removed, I didn't see my doctor more than five minutes for a consult before she moved on to another patient, and I was transported to the OR. Was it as significant as an abortion? No, but I was undergoing full anesthesia and losing a lot of blood, so some of the risks were the same.

    Roger Hunt's idea of a doctor-patient relationship is pretty significantly skewed from reality. Must be nice being able to monopolize a surgeon's time.

    [CAH: also nice of Roger Hunt to use his legislative power to make abortions more expensive and thus price more women out of that choice. How much more does it cost a woman to have two lengthy doctor appointments? We're heading for coat hanger territory.]

  4. larry kurtz 2011.03.22

    If only there was something being produced in South Dakota other than hopelessness that people could boycott.

  5. Douglas Wiken 2011.03.22


    Retrograde Republicans for Rapist Rights. Don't forget it.

    Daugaard and Hunt both push their assertions as facts. It appears our professional journalists are too polite to ever ask for proof.

    [CAH: On SDPB this noon, Paul Guggenheimer did have the guts to try dragging Roger Hunt off his diversions and back to the question actually asked. Hunt didn't oblige, but I appreciated Paul's effort.]

  6. Dave V. 2011.03.22

    Our state's Governor and Legislature are like some mutant hybrid of "The Jerry Springer Show" and "The PTL Club." I find it amusing that the GOP claims that they want to "get the government off our backs" but have no trouble trying to cram that same government into the womb! Paging Dr. Freud!

  7. Mandy 2011.03.23

    I'm betting I've out f-bombed you by a landslide this session :)

  8. Rachel 2011.03.23

    I'm with Mandy. I think my head might explode today, reading all the freaking nonsense in the papers about how great this bill is. I've just got to stop reading about it.

  9. Tat 2011.03.23

    I am just wondering who is willing to support these "saved" children? Is the state or republicans willing to fed, clothe, and education them? Please adopt the children that are already here by visting your local children's home. We are not usually talk the very rich having abortions, it is the poor who cannot afford them.

  10. Erika 2011.03.23

    Words can not express my outrage about this law. I have lived in SD most of my life, and I'm done having children, so this law doesn't "technically" affect me. But I woke up this morning realizing that because of my gender, my state can force me to undergo a government mandated psychological procedure against my will. It is psychological rape. I have never felt the presence of government more internally than I do today.

  11. Sue J 2011.03.23

    I agree with you, Erika. Words cannot express my outrage either!! I get the feeling that Gov. Daugaard signed the bill because private money was pledged to fight the court battles. The voters of S.D. expressed their opinion TWICE on this matter, and yet it is ignored by the legislators and governor. What's wrong with this picture??

  12. Shelly 2011.03.23

    The governor is Catholic.

  13. Carmen 2011.03.23

    The Governor is Lutheran. His wife is Catholic.

  14. Joseph G Thompson 2011.03.23

    Whats religion got to do with it? Know Catholics and Lutherans who favor and oppose abortions.

    Joseph G Thompson

  15. Shane Gerlach 2011.03.23

    Folks we are nothing more than a proving ground. We are the Indians in the desert with Nuclear Bombs being dropped on us because the rest of the U.S. won’t give a crap if we die from the fallout or not.
    If you can’t see that then you are blind.
    The legislators are so blinded by their own morality they didn't even bother to check if Hunt was lying to them about the defense money or not.
    Separation of Church and State? Fail
    Roe v Wade? Fail
    HIPPA laws? Fail
    But WHAT IF our little state slips up and allows this? What if our high court sides with our reactionary legislators?
    It's called precedent. It's all they want. Do you see it now?
    We are being used by Hunt, Unruh and the national hard right wing.
    This will never go away in this state until an across the board cleansing is done in Pierre.
    Remember your anger. I am begging you to remember your anger. Down here I am already plotting on how to oust Nick Moser and Jean Hunhoff. Do the same for Olson. Do the same for Hunt. Do the same for the liar in Chief!! Wipe the board clean. Hold onto the anger. Write their lies down someplace and read them daily.
    We are being the very people who we give the gift of representation.
    How does it feel?


  16. Nonnie 2011.03.24

    Just a question here. Pretty much you are all pro abortion and do not consider an unborn baby a living human. But, Medicaid apparently does in many states. They can issue the unborn baby a Medicaid card that says Unborn and then the last name of the mother, and the unborn baby counts as another family member for the purpose of collecting Medicaid. So I guess for Roe v Wade the baby is not a living person, but for the purpose of Medicaid it is?! I guess I don't understand this reasoning. So if a woman is three months pregnant, she can either have an abortion by an abortionist on the basis that she is carrying a non-living blob of tissue, or at the same moment she could get a Medicaid card saying she is carrying a living person deserving of benefits????

  17. Shane Gerlach 2011.03.24

    I am pro choice, as in I am a man and have no choice in the matter.

  18. caheidelberger Post author | 2011.03.24

    Linda, some corrections:

    1. "pro-abortion" is an innacurate label used for rhetorical purposes. I am not encouraging anyone to get an abortion. I am refusing to allow the state to stand in the way of a woman obtaining a legal medical procedure.

    2. "unborn baby a living human" -- Even if you win that definition, I still support a mother's right to personal bodily autonomy. The state cannot force a woman to place her body in service of another human in this direct physical way. If you needed a blood transfusion to live, and my blood matched yours, the state could not force me to give you my blood. In that case, too, my personal autonomy over my body trumps your right to life, at least in terms of the legal force the state can exert.

    3. Medicaid v Roe -- clever, but no contradiction. Medicaid recognizes that pregnancy incurs unique expenses. Accounting that growing fetus as a person is an easy way to provide the support necessary to help the mother deeal with the costs of pregnancy. The argument smacks of legalism and sophistry. I am perfectly willing to spend public dollars to help a woman bring a healthy baby into the world when she needs that assistance. I am not willing to use public dollars or the law to force her to do so, or even to force her to listen to lectures from uncertified volunteer "counselors" with a track record of using bogus science and stigma to coerce women into following their agenda.

Comments are closed.