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Abortion Counseling Measure Moves To House

February 15, 2011, 4:55 PM by Nicole Winters

Abortion Counseling Measure Moves To House
South Dakota's latest abortion bill is moving forward in Pierre. It made it through committee and is headed to the full House.

House Bill 1217 wouldn't ban abortions; instead, it would increase the steps a woman would need to take to get one.

It would require her to meet with a doctor in person for a complete medical and personal assessment.  Once the doctor determines the patient isn't feeling pressured that physician could then schedule the procedure, which couldn't be done for at least 72 hours.

Dr. Glenn Ridder with the Alpha Center, an organization that helps with unplanned pregnancy, agrees with the bill.

"Nationally, the statistics are about 68 percent of women who've had abortions are coerced to do that," Ridder said. 

Not everyone agrees with what's in this bill. The South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families, a grassroots organization against attempts to ban abortion, is criticizing the bill saying it's intruding on private family decisions.

In a news release SDCHF Co-Chair Elaine Roberts said: "It is time for the proponents of this type of legislation to realize that South Dakotans have had enough. No family situation is the same and we do not need government telling us what conversations we can have with our doctor."

"It's more of an informed consent than an abortion ban or anything like that. This is just to ensure that there is a doctor-patient relationship like there has to be in any other area of medicine," Ridder said.

The bill still has a long way to go before being put into law. It's now headed to the House floor for debate.

Under the bill the woman would also have to consult with a pregnancy help center to get information about services available to help her give birth and keep a child.  The state would be required to make a list of pregnancy help centers available at no cost to every woman.

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