Court Victory in South Dakota’s Misinformed Consent Law

Today the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals threw out important provisions of a South Dakota law that literally forced doctors to lie to their patients.  The law, H.B. 1166, was enacted in 2005 and challenged in court by Planned Parenthood.  Labeled as an “informed consent law,” but deliberately mandating misinformation, it required doctors to tell a woman seeking an abortion that she faces an “increased risk of suicide ideation and suicide,” a claim for which there is absolutely no scientific or medical evidence.

“As the major medical organizations have found, and as the court agreed today, said Sarah Stoesz, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota. “the scientific and medical evidence shows that women who choose abortion are not at increased risk for mental health problems,” 

“This law just one of many reprehensible barriers that South Dakota lawmakers have attempted to place between women and their access to safe, legal, reproductive health care.” 

According to a statement by Planned Parenthood, the Court of Appeals further clarified that a provision in the law that requires doctors to tell a woman that she “has a relationship with the fetus and that relationship is legally protected” simply requires doctors to explain “that the woman seeking abortion is legally and constitutionally protected against being forced to have an abortion.” 

“Planned Parenthood has always stood for the right of women to make these decisions, and we are gratified by this result,” said Stoesz. “South Dakota voters twice have said at the polls that they do not want politicians interfering with these decisions, and we will continue to honor and defend their wishes.”

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  • illusivebuffalo

    This is a wonderful victory, unfortunatelly I don’t think the South Dakota government is going to get the point. They never have before.

  • crowepps

    Of course they get the point.  The point is that every time this issue appears in the papers, no matter what the article says, it kicks up the huge donations they receive from wealthy old Catholic men who are buying themselves a way into heaven by ‘protecting babies’ and propels their base to the polls.


    If every woman in the country got 100% foolproof birth control tomorrow, and all the gays went miraculously straight, the conservatives know they would have to run on their economic and public service record and they’d all be out of a job at the next election.  Shoot, considering their economic and jobs record, they’d be headed for the borders trying to outrun the mob.


    They WANT to stretch out this issue.  They are kept in power by ‘hate the promiscuous women’ and ‘hate the gays’.  Now that people are realizing the average gay man is a dumpy middle aged guy who’s spent 25 years with another dumpy middle aged guy, and nobody was having all that wild passionate sex they show in the movies, ‘hate the gays’ seems to be running out of steam.  They are desperately coming up with anything at all that they can, no matter how scientifically or morally ludicrous it is, to draw out and inflate this issue and use it to keep themselves in power.

  • pumpkinpjays

    Yet again I say “THANK YOU,” Planned Parenthood!  The misinformed and misguided will not win!

  • carolrhill814

    That is beyond my understanding how dare they say such things to scare the woman into not having an abortion.

    I wish with all of heart that men could have babies and just maybe the laws would change because men have the right to change their minds whenever they feel likt it.

  • carolrhill814

    How dare anyone say that because these people aren’t in the brains of women.

    HONESTY PREVAILED nothing more nothing less.