South Dakota Tries To Make A Bad Abortion Law Worse

Republicans in South Dakota decided they hadn’t gone quite far enough in restricting women’s rights. So while their most recent abortion law is tied up in court the South Dakota House went ahead and made that law worse by changing some of the counseling  requirements for women seeking abortions.

The revised bill leaves intact the current law’s primary requirement that a woman in need of an abortion wait 72 hours and undergo counseling at a crisis pregnancy center to discourage the abortion.

This new bill changes provisions in the old bill that deal with what happens during that first consultation with a doctor at an abortion clinic. The new law now specifies the factors an abortion doctor must consider when determining whether a woman is at risk of developing mental problems if she has an abortion. Those risk factors include coercion, conflicts with her religious views, her age and previous mental health problems.

A doctor at an abortion clinic would have to discuss those risk factors with a woman to make sure she is not being “coerced” into having an abortion, claims the bills sponsor Rep. Roger Hunt (R) of Brandon. “The bottom basic issue is we do not want to take the life of an unborn child,” Hunt said.

But Rep. Peggy Gibson, D-Huron, said the bill should be defeated because it will just add to the state’s legal costs in defending an unconstitutional law. “The counseling requirement assumes a woman has not thought carefully about her decision to get an abortion, she said. “South Dakota women are perfectly capable of thinking for themselves,” Gibson said.

It’s such a simple concept, the idea that women can think for themselves and don’t take a decision like terminating a pregnancy lightly, but one Republicans, and especially Republican men, really can’t seem to grasp.

Related Stories:

South Dakota To Reevaluate Mandatory Crisis Pregnancy Counseling


Photo from Wikimedia Commons.


Carrie H.
Carrie H5 years ago

Before any woman is allowed to consider adoption the same should apply especially if they are young and being browbeaten into it. A woman considering adoption should first be required to seek mental help and they should be required to tell them Adoption can cause extreme mental health issues and a doctor should be consulted before giving a child up for adoption, in that consultation the doctor should be required to discuss the possible effects including having a missing child for untold years or forever the fact that even in open adoption cases adoptive parents can at any time after the adoption is finalized cut off all contact with the birth parent, a person or couple wanting to adopt will say and do just about anything to get a baby. Suicide should be discussed; the numbers of women who go on to have more children and who never have a child, out of guilt for giving one away. The numbers of women, who turn to prescription medication to deal with depression, caused by the loss of a child drugs and alcohol. The cost of long term counseling and the realities you have a child out there and you don’t know if it has a good home or not, you don’t know if the child is being cared for loved or abused, you don’t know if the child know if he or she was adopted if they were told they were given up out of love, or if they are being told they are lucky to have a home and their mother was a drug addict who didn’t want them. You don’t know if the adoptive parents

vicky t.
vicky T5 years ago

@Susan, your comment is completely irrelevant. You're just like those who keep telling me: "Why fight for animal rights when so many kids are starving? How are you helping THOSE?"
One can defend more than one cause, you know.
@William, if the counseling is unbiased and educational, why not see it as a formality? I mean, I go through sooo many formalities everyday without feeling that I'm being "forced" to do anything, and for things way less important than an abortion :)
The choice remains the woman's, and that's all that matters.

Chad A.
Chad Anderson5 years ago

These restrictions only make sense from the point of view that fertilized eggs are fully alive and need to be protected above the interests of the women who would be their mothers. If you cannot ban abortion, harass and threaten those who would have or perform one? I do not want abortion, but I have no right to try to control decisions made by women, if I were to make analagous decisions regarding myself and people in my life, I would have full autonomy to do so. I do not want abortion, but when women have abortions I want them to be provided on the basis of need, not economic ability. I want them to be safe-I do not want women to bleed out a painful and aquick death due to lack of medical knowledge. I think that women and their doctors can be trusted as moral actors above the agents of the state who are trying to control the most intimate aspects of their lives.

Barbara W.
Barbara W5 years ago

@sousou - the whole point in the "choice", pro or con, is a very simple - each person gets to make up their mind for themselves what is best for their personal situation. I understand your argument, but unless you are absolutely able to ascertain that no coercion will be part of the "counselor's" agenda, then it's a moot point. If adequate education and viable products to keep pregnancy from occurring were in place, abortion would end by itself. But the bottom line here is about control - and I, personally, will stand up and fight for my right and all women's rights to choose for themselves as to what is appropriate. This is not a Christian nation - it's a multi-spiritual nation, Christianity is not the only one. Respect is the key and communication, when I see some respect, I'll be open to listening to a viable idea.

William Y.
William Y5 years ago

@ SouSou C. I agree that counseling should be offered, but that the women can either accept or reject the offer and it is her decision what type of counseling it is religious, social, medical or otherwise. In no case can it be forced on her.

William Y.
William Y5 years ago

@ SouSou C. In response to your question, "Why doesn’t pro-choice defend this statement: 'IT’S A PERSON’S CHOICE TO TAKE MARIJUANA, COCAINE, HEROIN… AND THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD BUTT OUT' ????????????"

The major point is legality, abortion is legal those drugs aren't.

Sousou C.
Sousou Ch5 years ago

most Logical arguments require space :P

LOL Susan you don't have to read it unless you want to post something against what I said.
which reminds me do you even know me? How do you know what i did or what I do to help poor children? What makes you think that i don't have an economical solution that saves the U.S. children from poverty?

You just don't

Susan T.
Susan T5 years ago

Sousou C - are you sure you said everything you want to say? I mean seriously go ahead and post another 40-50 paragraphs of ranting.

You are entitled to your opinion. However, Roe v Wade is decided law. It will take a Constitutional Amendment to change it, especially since the court's decision was based on a Constitutional right to privacy that a woman has over her own body.

As to that Constitutional Amendment - good luck. They couldn't even get a Personhood law passed in Mississippi - the reddest of red states - so that tells you where the true majority opinion lies.

Do you get as worked up about children's rights - actual living children - or is it just zygotes you care about? There are almost 13 million children living in poverty in the U.S. DO you give a damn if they have enough to eat, medical care, a roof over their heads, a chance at an education? Because in my observation most "pro-lifers" just care about the zygote, the "theory" of a child, and do nothing to improve the lives of actual living breathing children.

Sousou C.
Sousou Ch5 years ago


4-72h is to make sure that the decision is made after thinking it through. (Spare me the "don't you trust that the woman thought it through before she decided to have abortion" because maybe some didn't and 72h won't kill you.

5- If unbiased medical facts discouraged abortion, it is understandable that Pro-abortion pple will get upset but Hell why would that disturb Pro-choicers? After all, they're only medical facts and no one was FORCED into anything!

Finally for all those who claim that I'm "INTIMIDATING WOMEN INTO MAKING THE DECISION I WANT". You're just PISSED OFF because I'm a thinker and use logic in my arguments which made it hard to prove me wrong.
The answer is clearly here as it was in the previous comments but you all were too blind to see it but i'll make it easy for you "WOMEN ARE TOO SMART TO BE MANIPULATED LIKE THAT" (loud enough?) and I'll prove it:


Sousou C.
Sousou Ch5 years ago


- What idiot goes to his daughter and tells her: "Honey, It's your choice, if you want to fool around with all the boys in town I won't stop you. If you want to have UNSAFE SEX, I'm cool with it. I won't shove any FACTS/SCIENCE/MORALS/MEDICINE down your throat. Be proud I'm a Pro-choicer"

- If you see a man about to rape a little girl do you stop it? do you report it? or you just say it's his choice I won't stop it. No of course you'll stop it because what about the little girl's choice? But then again the U.N. will ask you using the same logic: what about the fetus's choice? What makes you think you know better than U.N. or many doctors, lawyers, politicians, scientists, engineers who have used logic and common sense to back up their solid arguments? ("fetus = person" remains a discussable matter on many levels)

I'll repeat again in a summary to avoid misunderstanding:

1- Only the Woman has the right to decide whether to have abortion or not

2- An unbiased counseling is a good idea because women aren't equally informed about abortion.

3- A smart well informed woman who has already made up her mind (even before counseling) won’t be affected by the medical facts displayed during counseling. (There’s a difference between stubbornness and a made up mind based on strong knowledge)

4-72h is to make sure that the decision is made after thinking it through. (Spare me the "don't you trust that the woman thought it through before she decide