Tags: Abortion | South Dakota | abortion laws | neighboring states

South Dakota Abortion Laws and How They Differ From Neighboring States

By    |   Wednesday, 05 Aug 2015 08:26 PM

South Dakota has some of the country's toughest laws when it comes to abortions. The Mount Rushmore state has constructed several barriers that a woman must overcome to willingly terminate a pregnancy.

Before a procedure can be performed, a woman in South Dakota must complete state-sponsored counseling with a Pro-Life emphasis designed to encourage her to keep the child. She must then wait an additional 72 hours, not including weekends or holidays, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

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Also, health plans offered through the state's Affordable Care Act exchanges only cover abortion in life-threatening situations, but not in the case of rape, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Telemedicine is prohibited.

Neighboring North Dakota and Nebraska have similarly restrictive laws, while neighboring Montana, Minnesota, Iowa, and Colorado are more lenient. For example, Montana only requires parental notification when the abortion involves a minor younger than 16.

The Dakotas and Nebraska received F grades from the NARAL Pro-Choice America organization, which grades states based on the cumulative leniency of several abortion regulations. The higher the grade, the more favorable those states are to pro-choice advocacy. Montana received an A-, while Minnesota, Iowa and Colorado each got a C+ mark from group.

North Dakota differs from its southern neighbor by lessening the post-consultation waiting period to 24 hours. Both Dakotas offer public funding if the mother's life is in danger, but North Dakota also provides public funding in cases of rape and incest. Both states require parental consent if a minor seeks an abortion.

Of its neighbors, Montana has few stipulations, though parents must be told when a minor age 16 or under is involved. Minnesota also must notify a minor's parent, includes state-directed counseling followed by a 24-hour waiting period.

Though South Dakota’s laws remain tough, the state has evolved from a proposed 2006 House bill, which would have banned abortions in all cases, except to save the life of a pregnant woman, according to NARAL. At the time, the bill was the nation's most all-encompassing abortion ban, and laid the groundwork that pro-choice supporters hoped would lead to Roe v. Wade being overturned.

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Remnants of that bill found their way into future legislation. Earlier this year, the South Dakota House proposed an amendment to the criminal code that equated abortion with child abuse. If passed, doctors who perform the procedure and the women who have them could be charged with a class 3 felony, according to Planned Parenthood.

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South Dakota has some of the country's toughest laws when it comes to abortions. The Mount Rushmore state has constructed several barriers that a woman must overcome to willingly terminate a pregnancy.
South Dakota, abortion laws, neighboring states
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2015-26-05
Wednesday, 05 Aug 2015 08:26 PM
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