Abortion Counseling Bill Heads To Governor
By Kealey Bultena
The bill that changes South Dakota’s requirements for a woman seeking an abortion is on its way to the governor’s desk.
The Senate approved the legislation that institutes a 72-hour waiting period and counseling at a pregnancy help center before a woman can have an abortion. Sponsor, Republican Al Novstrup, says the bill stops abortions only if women are being convinced into the procedure.
"House Bill 1217 is not an abortion ban bill. It’s a bill that will better ensure that women seeking an abortion will make decisions that are voluntary, uncoerced and informed," Novstrup says.
Some opponents say the bill forces women to seek counseling at unregulated pregnancy centers with anti-abortion philosophies. Others say it invites lawsuits which will cost South Dakota money. Senators tried to amend the bill four times, but each change failed.
An unchanged House Bill 1217 passed the Senate by a vote of 21 to 13. It goes to Governor Dennis Daugaard for approval.
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