Mandatory 72 Hour Waiting Period and Counseling Law Signed In South Dakota


South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard has now signed the country’s longest waiting period for abortion into effect, and has made it mandatory that women seeking abortion must get permission slips from anti-choice activists before they can have the procedure done.

The bill, which was already so flawed that various pregnancy help centers in the state are still debating whether or not they even want to take part in it, will be challenged in court long before it ever goes into effect on July 1, 2010. But one group who is already overjoyed is the Alpha Center, who’s owners were the major force lobbying for the bill, and who’s center is already benefiting as the trainers for the other pregnancy centers who will be “counseling” the women seeking abortions.

Via KDLT TV:

“They heard the women’s cries, they listened to the women who talked about coercion and said they wanted more time to make that decision. These are women who have had abortions. And so we are thrilled that they listened, they heard, they put politics aside,” said Leslee Unruh, with the Alpha Center

In addition to a longer waiting period, the bill also requires women to undergo counseling at pro-life pregnancy centers before moving forward.

“This is really a thrill for south Dakota and the women of south Dakota and women who have made this decision. One of the women that testified with the legislature said she was so happy, she said I would have a baby if this law was in place,” said Unruh.

Gov. Daugaard had said that he was interested in signing the bill soon after the legislation passed, but held off until he better examined the legal ramifications of the law.  But in the end it seemed that “ramifications” had less to do with the constitutionality of the bill, and more to do with whether or not he could find someone willing to pick up the tab so the state would not be forced to foot the bill.  Also from KDLT.com:

Gov. Daugaard conferred on the legislation with South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley, whose office is responsible for defending the law against any challenge in court.  Proponents of the legislation, including prime sponsor Rep. Roger Hunt, have pledged that private funds will be raised to help finance defense of the law.

Ensuring the state will not be forced to pay during legal proceedings is a necessity for the governor, who will be responsible to answering to the entirety of the state, a majority of whom have repeatedly voted down unconstitutional anti-abortion measures whenever they were presented with them as ballot initiatives.  South Dakota has a history of going head to head in the court room with Planned Parenthood over abortion regulations, and the state’s record of wins has been consistently dismal.  In the last 15 years, South Dakota has paid over half a million dollars in legal fees to Planned Parenthood.

Perhaps if the state really wanted to defund Planned Parenthood, it should consider no longer passing blatantly unconstitutional bills.

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