South Dakota Enacts 3-Day Waiting Period for Abortions

Women also have to go to anti-abortion counseling centers
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2011 3:28 PM CDT
South Dakota Enacts 3-Day Waiting Period for Abortions
South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard delivers his inaugural address Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011 at the State Capitol in Pierre, S.D.   (AP Photo/Doug Dreyer)

(Newser) – Women who want to get an abortion in South Dakota must now wait a full three days after meeting with a doctor under a measure signed into law today by Gov. Dennis Daugaard, the AP reports. It's the longest such waiting period in the nation. The law also requires that women undergo counseling at anti-abortion help centers, which is another first, notes the Christian Science Monitor.

"I hope that women who are considering an abortion will use this three-day period to make good choices," says Daugaard. Abortion rights advocates are already planning a lawsuit. “The 72-hour waiting period coupled with having to go to a crisis pregnancy center whose very mission is to dissuade women from going through with an abortion has grave constitutional concerns for us,” says a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood. Supporters of the law charge that Planned Parenthood—the sole provider of abortions in South Dakota—offers too little information or counseling. (Read more abortion stories.)

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