On May 27, 2011, the ACLU joined Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) in asking a South Dakota federal court to prevent the enforcement of House Bill 1217, a law that imposes onerous and humiliating obstacles in the path of any person in South Dakota seeking to exercise their legal right to have an abortion. The U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota granted a preliminary injunction in June 2011, blocking the law from going into effect. After defendants and intervenors filed a December 2020 motion to dissolve the preliminary injunction, the U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota ruled on August 20, 2021 to sustain it. The law will remain blocked while the case is litigated. On August 25, 2021, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, other state defendants, and intervenors appealed the decision to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

 The law would also compel a person seeking an abortion to visit a “pregnancy help center,” where they would be required to discuss the most intimate details of their life with an antiabortion “counselor” and potentially listen to a lecture against abortion.  

These requirements are unconstitutional under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and our lawsuit aims to ensure that the law never goes into effect. 

Plaintiffs in the case are Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Carol E. Ball, M.D., who sue on behalf of themselves and their patients.

 

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