In March 2011, South Dakota’s Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed the Abortion Informed Consent Statute into law. Although the constitutionality of the law was immediately challenged, and Planned Parenthood recoiled at the thought of mothers being informed of all the dangers abortion poses for them (in addition to the child), the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that all major provisions of the law can stand.
Generally speaking, this means that women seeking an abortion in South Dakota’s only abortion clinic will be informed beforehand that “an abortion terminates the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being,” that the mother’s “relationship with that second human being enjoys protection under the Constitution of the United States and the Laws of South Dakota,” that relationship and all rights attached to it will be terminated, and the medical and psychological risks abortion subjects mother to, including “at increased risk for…suicide.”
What South Dakota lawmakers understand is that a woman who chooses to have an abortion needs to be aware of the incredibly grave consequences associated with that decision. Thus the goal with the Abortion Informed Consent Statute is not only to reduce the number of children aborted, but also the number of mothers who have abortions and, as the Supreme Court itself has recognized, “come to regret that decision” and, tragically, seek to harm themselves because of that regret.
In other words, while the affects abortion has on preborn children are literally heart-stopping, the repercussions in the lives of women who have the abortions are sometimes no less final.
Since the late 1950s, studies have linked abortion to breast cancer, depression, mental illness, and suicide. Yet because of the money flowing in and out of organizations like Planned Parenthood, these studies have been suppressed or dismissed for purely political reasons.
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South Dakota has decided enough is enough. Therefore, from this point forward, mothers who want to go to the Planned Parenthood-operated clinic in that state will first be told not only what will be happening to their preborn child, but what they are potentially doing to themselves.
Only a group like Planned Parenthood could argue with that.