South Dakota Governor Likely to Sign Radical Anti-Choice Bill

The Republican governor of South Dakota announced that he is “inclined to sign” an extreme bill passed by the state legislature that requires women seeking an abortion to undergo a 72 hour waiting period and biased counseling. RWW first reported on the bill when it was first approved by a House committee, and has since passed the full House and Senate.

As outlined in a new People For the American Way report on the flurry of anti-choice laws under consideration in the states, the impending 72 hour waiting period would even exceed the more common 24 hour waiting period in a state which only has one clinic that offers abortion services, which are provided just once a week.

If signed into law, South Dakota women would be forced to meet with staffers of so-called “pregnancy care centers,” better known as crisis pregnancy centers, who are typically not medical professionals but instead anti-choice activists. Such centers receive significant funding from Religious Right groups and organizations opposed to abortion rights, and frequently employ deceiving and discredited propaganda against abortion and contraception.

According to a 2006 Congressional report, close to 90 percent of such centers “grossly misrepresented the medical risks of abortion, telling the callers that having an abortion could increase the risk of breast cancer, result in sterility, and lead to suicide and ‘post-abortion stress disorder.’” Many of the groups also receive government funding through abstinence-only-until-marriage programs and one of the largest private financers said that the goal of such centers is to “get the chance to share the Gospel with [women], which is the ultimate thing of what we’re doing.” In fact, the New York City Council just passed a measure that would make the centers disclose that they are not accredited medical offices.