What Happened During Last Session?
During the most recent SD Legislative Session four anti-choice bills passed and were signed into law by Governor Daugaard. You may be wondering, "What are they for?” and "What impact do they have on me?” Two of the four bills that passed have severe consequences for women seeking abortions in our state; SB 72 and HB 1157.
SB 72: Licensed medical abortion providers will no longer be allowed to perform abortions after 22 weeks gestation. Currently such abortions are only performed in South Dakota in cases of health and wellness of the mother and fetal inviability. This bill affects those women and families in the most vulnerable of circumstances. This bill was highly contested in the Senate with many traditionally anti-choice Legislators voting against the bill. A study from The Guttmacher Institute found that only 1.2% of abortions happen after 21 weeks and the majority are performed for health reasons.
HB 1157: House Bill 1157 mandates that physicians are now required to refer medical abortion patients to a statement on the Department of Health website stating that if they do not take the second medication in the two-pill process that there is a chance their abortion will not be completed. Medical studies have shown that this information is misleading and medically inaccurate, and could potentially put abortion providers at risk for legal liability.