On May 27, 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 recently enacted law that imposes onerous and humiliating obstacles in the path of any woman in South Dakota seeking to exercise her legal right to have an abortion.

The law would impose the longest mandatory waiting period for an abortion that this country has ever seen, requiring a woman to wait seventy-two hours between her initial physician consultation and the abortion.  The law would also compel a woman seeking an abortion to visit a “pregnancy help center,” where she would be required to discuss the most intimate details of her life with an antiabortion “counselor” and listen to a lecture against abortion.  Additionally, the law would force abortion providers to tell patients about any possible risk factor that have been published in any medical or psychological journal since 1972, including “risks” that have been roundly rejected by mainstream medicine since then. 

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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