South Dakota Legislature Advances Dangerous “Abortion Reversal” Bill and Abortion Ban Bill

Planned Parenthood and ACLU of South Dakota warn South Dakotans about politicians’ extreme anti-abortion agenda

February 17, 2021 1:00 pm

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Today, members of the South Dakota House State Affairs Committee voted to advance two extreme anti-abortion bills. House Bill 1130, the so-called “abortion reversal” bill, would require doctors to give false and misleading information to patients. House Bill 1110 would ban abortions based on a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome, judging the reason someone seeks a safe, legal abortion.

“South Dakotan politicians are again trying to limit sexual and reproductive health care, while our state battles some of the highest COVID-19 rates per capita in the country,” said Kristin Hayward, manager of advocacy in South Dakota for Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota Action Fund. “Politicians want to require doctors to give patients inaccurate and dangerous information and judge people who seek out abortion care. The bills go against the recommendations of medical experts and are another example of lawmakers politicizing reproductive health care and inappropriately intruding upon the vital patient-physician relationship.”

Recently, roughly 70 physicians and medical students from South Dakota sent a letter to lawmakers urging them to vote against bills they say would hinder their ability to provide care to patients. The letter referred to House Bills 1051, 1130 and 1110.

“Let’s be clear on what these bills do not do. They do not ensure that pregnant people are given information, resources and support to raise their children – including children with Down syndrome – with dignity. They do not expand access to necessary prenatal care and services for women. And they do not fight pregnancy discrimination,” said Jett Jonelis, ACLU of South Dakota advocacy manager. “It’s long past time for our elected officials to stop interfering with people’s personal health care decisions like this and to start dealing with the very real problems in our state.”

The so-called “abortion reversal’ bill would require abortion providers to post information in their waiting areas and doctors to give patients information not supported by science about a so-called “abortion reversal.” Doctors who fail to comply with the bill would be subject to disciplinary action against their license.

Leading medical organizations, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, do not support the so-called “abortion reversal” measure, saying they are not supported by science and these unfounded legislative mandates represent dangerous political interference that compromise patient care and safety.

In 2019, the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology reported an early end to a study of the practice because of the risks it posed to participants. These results reinforced that such dangerous, unproven claims should not be the basis of laws or medical practice.

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