South Dakota governor signs abortion waiting period law

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 22, 2011 1:27 PM
South Dakota governor signs abortion waiting period law

PIERRE, South Dakota (Reuters) - South Dakota's governor on Tuesday signed into law a requirement that pregnant women submit to counseling and wait 72 hours before an abortion.

Supporter of the legislation, which was signed by Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard, have pledged to raise private funds to finance a defense of the law that is scheduled to take effect on July 1.

"I think everyone agrees with the goal of reducing abortion by encouraging consideration of other alternatives," Daugaard said in a statement. "I hope that women who are considering an abortion will use this three-day period to make good choices."

The new law is one of many abortion curbs being pushed by conservative lawmakers in dozens of states this year. Other proposals include bans on late-term abortions and requirements that providers offer women sonograms of their fetuses.

Alisha Sedor, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice South Dakota, said the bill was an "egregious" invasion of the doctor-patient relationship.

The required counseling would take place at a "pregnancy help center" that supporters of abortion rights said are often run by anti-abortion groups who seek to talk women out of having the procedures.

The new law is expected to be challenged in court.

(Reporting by Michael Avok in Pierre, additional reporting and writing by David Bailey in Minneapolis; Editing By Greg McCune)