The South Dakota state legislature has passed House Bill 1217, which requires women seeking an abortion to wait 72 hours and undergo counseling with a licensed physician before having the abortion. This will be the longest wait-time in the nation. The bill is now sitting on the desk of pro-life Governor Dennis Daugaard. The law is designed to allow time for women thinking about having an abortion, to provide them the material to make informed choices, and to prevent them from being coerced into having an unwanted abortion.
"This bill provides women in South Dakota with a variety of resources not previously available," says Matthew Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel. "With the assistance of an independent physician and pregnancy help center expectant mothers can be better informed of this life-altering decision. Those who really care about women will enthusiastically endorse this bill."
In South Dakota, all abortions are done by out-of-state doctors who usually fly in on Monday morning, are paid based on the number of abortions they complete, and then fly out that evening. The doctor only spends about five to seven minutes total with each woman and meets them for the first time only after the woman has undressed for the abortion. Women who come to the clinic are required to sign a consent form for the abortion and even pay for the procedure as a precondition to seeing the so-called "patient educator" for counseling. These "educators" are untrained, uncertified, and unable to counsel women "about fetal development or other counseling issues."
This bill takes into consideration the financial incentive of the abortionist and clinic staff to encourage an abortion. The law will require women who desire an abortion to personally meet with a licensed physician who is not financially motivated to encourage an abortion. If the mother does choose to go through with the abortion, she will not be able to schedule it until seventy two hours after the assessment, during which she is required to also meet with one of the registered pregnancy help centers.
Through this bill the women in South Dakota will be given a variety of resources not previously available. With the help of the physician and pregnancy help centers expectant mothers can be better informed of their options.
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