Next Up for South Dakota: 3-Day Wait for Abortions?

Gov. Daugaard says bill's merits are in its 'encouragement to women'
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2011 6:43 AM CST
South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard has said he thinks he will sign a new anti-abortion bill that would be the most restrictive in the United States.    (AP Photo/Doug Dreyer)

(Newser) – South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard says he thinks he'll sign a bill that would implement some of the strongest anti-abortion laws in the United States. The new measure would require women seeking an elective abortion to undergo a 72-hour waiting period—the longest in the nation—and first attend counseling at a state-approved "pregnancy help center," which work to persuade women not to go through with it. HB1217 also requires doctors providing abortions to meet personally with the patient to confirm they are seeking the procedure voluntarily before scheduling it, reports the AP.

"I am pro-life," Daugaard told the Rapid City Journal. "I've read the bill and I'm inclined to sign it, but I want to examine it along with the counsel of others to make sure there's no unintended consequences that haven't been identified during the debate." The new guidelines would almost surely be challenged in court, and the state's Legislative Research Council has estimated it would cost $1.75 million to $4 million to defend the bill. Last month, the South Dakota legislature dropped a bill that would have essentially made it legal to kill abortion providers.

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