Federal Judge Rules Against South Dakota in Abortion Lawsuit

August 23, 2021

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A federal judge Friday ruled against South Dakota's attempt to lift a decade-old injunction that nullified part of a state law requiring women to consult with a crisis pregnancy center before having an abortion.

Planned Parenthood sued the state in 2011 after lawmakers passed a law requiring a three-day wait period for women seeking an abortion, as well as a consultation with a pregnancy center that often discourages women from having an abortion. Judge Karen Schreier ordered a temporary injunction that kept the law from taking effect. The three-day wait period eventually became law, but the consultation requirement has not.

South Dakota last year asked the court to allow the consultation requirement to take effect, arguing the situation in the state had changed since 2011. But Schreier, who was appointed under President Bill Clinton, ruled that the legal situation has not changed since the original injunction stopped the consultation requirement.

"It continues to likely infringe on women's right to free speech secured in the First Amendment, and it presents an undue burden on a woman's right to access abortion," she wrote in her order.

Gov. Kristi Noem said she would appeal the ruling, arguing the law was necessary to make sure women have the opportunity to hear relevant information about their pregnancy.

"I look forward to the day when all life ― born and unborn ― is protected by law," she said in a statement.

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