Last updated on 2013.02.13
Looks like my wife and several thousand South Dakota women like her do not lose autonomy over their medical decisions tomorrow after all! Today U.S. District Court Chief Judge Karen Schreier blocked the enactment of House Bill 1217, the South Dakota Legislature's latest misguided effort to make abortion unobtainable in our otherwise fair state. Judge Schreier finds that Planned Parenthood's lawsuit against the state to overturn HB 1217 is likely to succeed on all counts.
The Court's assessment of HB 1217 sounds awfully familiar:
Forcing a woman to divulge to a stranger at a pregnancy help center the fact that she has chosen to undergo an abortion humiliates and degrades her as a human being. The woman will feel degraded by the compulsive nature of the Pregnancy Help Center requirements, which suggest that she has made the "wrong" decision, has not really "thought" about her decision to undergo an abortion, or is "not intelligent enough" to make the decision with the advice of a physician. Furthermore, these women are forced into a hostile environment [Judge Karen Schreier, ruling on injunction against HB 1217, quoted in Planned Parenthood press release, 2011.06.30].
Forcing, humiliating, degrading... sounds like tyranny to me. My conservative friends should be cheering just like Sarah Stoesz of Planned Parenthood:
This law represents a blatant intrusion by politicians into difficult decisions women and families sometimes need to make.... We trust women and families in South Dakota to know and do what is best for them, without being coerced by the government. And we stand with them in our efforts to overturn this outrageous law [Planned Parenthood, 2011.06.30].
Keep after 'em, Sarah! We're gonna win!
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p.s.: The situation is not so rosy in Kansas, where the state imposed new regulations on abortion clinic size, supplies, and even room temperature. Kansas gave clinics two weeks to comply. The intent, of course, is to make it impossible for abortion clinics to operate anywhere in the state. The law takes effect tomorrow. I suspect Roger Hunt alraedy has Harold Cassidy drafting a version for the 2012 South Dakota Legislature
pp.s.: KELO provides an online copy of Judge Schreier's ruling.