Monday, July 04, 2011

Judge blocks anti-abortion bill in South Dakota

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Abortion: My Mind, My Body, My Choice

Another increasingly rare sorta-victory for women’s reproductive rights, this time in South Dakota [links removed for brevity]:

One such victory took place in South Dakota on Thursday when a federal court said “NO” to House Bill 1217, signed into law by South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R) in March, which requires women to wait 72-hours before having an abortion (the national norm is 24 hours) and to attend counseling sessions at faith-based “crisis pregnancy centers.”


In May, Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota (PPMNS ) filed suit “against the South Dakota governor, attorney general, health department secretary and the executive director of the Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners. PPMNS is represented by attorneys from Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and is joined in the suit by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).”

The judge laid out their case thusly:

Specifically, plaintiffs argue that the Pregnancy Help Center Requirements create an undue burden for four reasons: (1) the Act does not adequately protect the patient’s confidentiality; (2) the pregnancy help centers are not required to act in an expeditious manner; (3) the pregnancy help centers are allowed to give untruthful and misleading information; and (4) the Pregnancy Help Center Requirements unduly deter physicians from offering abortion services.

Of course, as we all know (including the above judge), those “crisis pregnancy centers” are nothing like the institutions of sound medical advice that anti-abortionists make them out to be, rather acting as little more than brainwashing facilities designed to mislead and terrify vulnerable women into avoiding abortions altogether, even if they’re in no medical or sociological condition to carry or raise a baby. In addition to denying the patients proper information and counseling, they’ll even do what they can to discourage them from seeking out real physicians who actually have do know what they’re talking about.

But then, this is all too natural for anti-choicers, who have shown time and time (and time) again how little interest they have in the well-being of pregnant women. To them, it’s all about the fetus, anything else be damned.

Of course, that one judge has currently blocked the law is no indication that it will remain so indefinitely. The religious-Right has shown itself to be a formidable force in the US, and it’s probably a safe bet that the anti-women’s rights train will keep on rolling merrily through one legal protection after another as time goes on. That’s what the people voted for in the last midterms, and thus, they reap what they sowed.