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HB 1180: More Anti-Abortion Ideology over Expertise and Respect for Women

Last updated on 2014.08.25

House Bill 1180 is an anti-child, anti-woman, anti-knowledge bill masquerading under the guise of fairness. This bill, now just one vote away from heading to Governor Dennis Daugaard's desk, makes South Dakota's bad abortion restrictions even worse by prohibiting organizations that offer either abortion services or adoption services from offering the state's mandatory browbeating of women seeking abortions.

HB 1180's lead Senate sponsor, Al Novstrup (R-3/Aberdeen), says he's just trying to maintain a level playing field:

The roles of the pregnancy care centers are to counsel, educate and assist, according to Sen. Al Novstrup, R-Aberdeen, the bill’s lead Senate sponsor.

“One of my definitions of neutral is you’re not making money at it,” he said.

Some people in the adoption business sought to be centers, too.

“That is a conflict of interest,” Novstrup said.

Planned Parenthood makes money from abortions and adoption agencies make money from adoptions, he said [Bob Mercer, "New Rule Would Restrict Offerings of Adoption Services," Aberdeen American News, 2014.02.27].

Neutrality is the last thing Senator Novstrup and his abortion-obsessed colleagues want. They are trying to corral every woman in the state into the lying propaganda centers their 2011 abortion law authorizes to peddle their very specific, very ideological anti-abortion message.

If Senator Novstrup and the other sponsors of HB 1180 were really interested in helping women, they wouldn't oppress them with a 72-hour waiting period or patronize them with a requirement that they undergo counseling before would making a decision that Novstrup et al. think women are not capable of making on their own. Even we accepted the notion that all women considering an abortion are in such dire need of counseling that the state must force them into such counseling, a wise and fair Legislature would open the doors for experts of all sorts to help women obtain this required counseling.

Why not let the health care providers who know the most about abortion, the ones who actually perform abortions, explain to women what abortion involves?

Why not let dedicated professionals who know the most about adoption, the ones who make adoptions happen, share their knowledge and experience with women so they can get the best advice as to whether adoption is the right course for them to pursue?

Senator Novstrup professes fairness, but fairness would allow women to choose to get their information from the best, most experienced, most knowledgeable experts in the field of reproduction-related services. Senator Novstrup would rather use HB 1180 to block women from such expertise and force them into the clutches of a narrow group of know-nothing ideologues who will use the state's mandate to guilt and shame and lie all the women they can into conforming to their political goal of banning all abortions.

House Bill 1180 makes a bad law worse. If the Senate doesn't have the wisdom to vote it down, Governor Daugaard should recall his experience with the Children's Home Society, recall the good that adoption providers do for women and families and need, and veto this bill so women at least have a chance to get expert information from caring, experienced professionals who just want to help families do the right thing, not peddle a politico-religious agenda.


  1. interested party 2014.02.27

    Rich women have full reproductive freedom while women at middle and lower income levels experience chilling effects on their rights. South Dakota's repeated attempts to restrict access to medical care is not only mean-spirited, it's discriminatory anti-choice extremism.

  2. owen reitzel 2014.02.27

    It's funny how the right wants the government out of everything-except a woman's right to choose.
    And you're right Larry. Ruch women will still be able to get abortions while the middle and lower classes won't.
    This state is as backwards as you can get.

  3. Becca Pivonka 2014.02.27

    Of course the right wants the government out of everything - at least, out of the things they like/want.
    But women's reproductive rights/health choices and marriage for all - oh heck no! That MUST be legislated to death.

  4. mike from iowa 2014.02.27

    Lets level the playing field.Before a new gun permit can be issued,the prospective permittee has to be inundated for three days by propaganda from every anti 2nd Amendment group,victims of gun violence,visits to the morgue and to funerals of gun violence victims,and anything else to get them to change their minds about owning guns. And weekends can't be counted as two of the three days. They have to miss work or school to do this.

  5. Rorschach 2014.02.27

    Looks like a special interest bill to grant Alpha Center an exclusive franchise and foreclose competition. They preach free market, but prefer to take care of their friends first.

  6. Douglas Wiken 2014.02.27

    Good thing there are no worthwhile issues for the legislature to consider. They might actually have to work.

  7. Roger Cornelius 2014.02.27

    If Senator Novstrup were truly interested in leveling the playing field he would quit legislating against women right now.

    Senator Novstrup could also level the playing field by introducing legislation to council men about sex and their responsibilities in unwanted pregnancies.

    Remember Troy Jones said Republicans like him are not "soft" on impregnators. Senator Novstrup shouldn't be "soft" either.

  8. PrairieLady - gayle 2014.02.27

    One issue, which I have never seen addressed, is what qualifications and regulations do these pregnancy crisis center have to have to be in existence? What gives them the right to disseminate information that is untrue?
    I would love to see legislation regulating them and have actual standards these so called counseling centers.
    The Alpha Centers have always had a big hold on this state. Personally, I would like to have them regulated, and possibly investigated for fraudulent information (advertising?).

  9. Roger Elgersma 2014.02.27

    When my foster sister got an abortion the abortion providers lied to her about what an abortion is. For all the talk I hear from those who are for abortion that they really are for life also and that we should work to reduce abortion, they switch and want it to be as easy as possible while they say they want to reduce it. So when they switch back and forth, on how long it should take and how much information they should have on a life and death decision, they so not make logical sense.

  10. Roger Cornelius 2014.02.27

    Roger Elgersma,

    You confuse pro-abortion with pro-women's rights, there is no switching back and forth.

    The "logical sense" is that the state government should have no involvement in a woman's right to choose. This debate was settled 40 years age with Roe vs Wade.

    As Cory pointed out, these centers are only money machines to circumvent a woman's right to choose.

    If Novstrup wants to level the playing field, pass legislation that the discussion a woman has with her doctor is the only one that has to happen and that the choice remain hers.

  11. SDBlue 2014.02.27

    I really do not understand the GOP's incessant obsession with a woman's private parts.

  12. owen reitzel 2014.02.27

    SD Blue that's all the GOP has. The ACA is working and they have no answers for anything.

  13. Anne Beal 2014.02.27

    Keeping distressed pregnant women out of the reach of profiteering baby brokers is a good thing.

    Keeping them out of the reach of profiteering baby killers is also a good thing.

    Women in that circumstance need to be counseled by people who have no chance of making a profit off whatever they decide.

    As for abortion providers knowing more about abortion than anybody, we've heard enough accounts of women who said nobody told them what it was really going to be like or how they would feel afterwards.
    I remember reading articles about people who signed up for elective surgical procedures, everything from LASIK to heart transplants, saying if they'd known how awful it would be afterwards they never would have gone ahead with it. There is no such thing as TMI when you are contemplating a medical procedure.

  14. mike from iowa 2014.02.28

    I've got a better idea. Let's make sure than any counselling of pregnant women is done by atheist or agnostic groups. Take religion out of the equation because everyone knows that these counselors score brownie points with their god by saving souls and I for one do not want anyone to profit from counselling. Besides,it is way too easy to explain complications and guilty feelings as god's will,or if you guzzle religious kool-aid as god swill.

  15. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.02.28

    "no such thing as TMI"... Anne's conservatism goes selective again, as she is advocating forced information from the state.

    Just how bad is the problem of profiteering baby brokers in South Dakota? How many evil adoption hawkers are there in this state? We've identified Planned Parenthood as an evil abortion profiteer; who are the comparable bogeymen in the adoption "industry"? If we are going to vilify adoption agencies the same way we vilify abortion providers, let's name names.

  16. Bill Dithmer 2014.02.28

    Cory could we be talking about ALPHA's own, and the money maker from "Abstinence Clearinghouse " Leslee unruh?

    Didn't she get caught buying and selling babies?

    Local observers have taken note of Unruh's political connections since 1987, when she paid a nominal fine and walked out into the sunshine after pleading nolo contendere to five misdemeanors, instead of facing a much more severe sentence for ten other misdemeanors and multiple felonies with which she was also charged.

    The center was fined $500 but there were 19 charges, including four felonies that were dropped in a plea bargain deal. This could have only happened in good old SD.

    Tim Wilka Minnehaha County state's attorney at the time. " There were so many allegations about improper adoption s being made, and how teenage girls were being pressured to give up thier children," Wilka says then Gov. George Mickelson called him and asked him to take the case.

    In 2004, according to returns filed with the IRS, Unruh's combined personal income from almost three-quarters of a million dollars in government contracts, federal grants and other "direct public support" to these two organizations was $152, 376.00.

    Oh there's much more.

    The Blindman

  17. Douglas Wiken 2014.02.28

    Ironic that SD GOP wants to regulate "Obamacare" guides into oblivion with regulating qualifications, but doesn't give a whit about counseling qualifications of anti-choice, anti-abortion, anti-science, anti-knowledge charlatans.

  18. mike from iowa 2014.02.28

    Gracias for the link,Blindman. SoDak is filled with colorful characters. Hope more get sunshine.

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