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Abortion Bill Proposes More Counseling

March 1, 2011, 6:15 PM by Peggy Moyer

Abortion Bill Proposes More Counseling
SIOUX FALLS, SD - Abortion is up for debate yet again in South Dakota. This one adds more counseling to the process before a woman can have an abortion.

South Dakota law now requires a woman seeking an abortion to listen to a pre-recorded message and wait 24 hours before having the procedure.

Then doctors are required to show patients a picture of the sonogram, record any comments or reaction in the woman's medical files, and then wait two more hours before starting the procedure.

The bill up for debate right now adds additional counseling to the process because some say women are still being coerced into having an abortion.

The new bill requires a woman to start by meeting with the doctor who will do the procedure. She then would need to meet face-to-face with a counselor at a pregnancy help center.

Once she's done that, the clock starts on her 72 hour waiting period before following through with the rest of the process that's already in place.

Opponents say South Dakota already has some of the strictest regulations in the nation. But they say this latest bill goes too far.

"It would require women in some of the most difficult circumstances, including rape and incest and mothers facing serious complications to get permission for a legal medical procedure from an unregulated agency, staffed by untrained volunteers," Spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood Kathi DiNicola said.

Proponents of the bill say it helps prevent women from being pressured into having an abortion by adding face to face counseling.

Planned Parenthood representatives also want women to have all of the information they need to make an informed decision. It just believes its a personal issue.

"If a woman wants to go to a crisis pregnancy center to get that kind of information, she should! The question is should the state mandate that and the answer is no,” DiNicola said.

KELOLAND NEWS tried multiple times to speak with someone from the Alpha Center, a pregnancy help center that favors the bill. But they did not return our calls.

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