HB1254 Restricting Reproductive Rights

The latest attempt at further restricting reproductive rights in South Dakota arrived late last week to no fan fare. HB1254, the “tweaking” bill alluded to by Rep. Roger Hunt at the Sioux Falls Chamber Legislative Breakfast some time ago finally showed up online last Thursday. While there have been whispers surrounding the introduction of this bill for weeks, with Pierre you never know until all bills have been submitted.

You may recall that last year Roger Hunt and his anti-choice allies in the legislature managed to pass into law HB1217, which requires that all women seeking an abortion in South Dakota discuss their decision with anti-choice Crisis Pregnancy Centers prior to being able to sign a consent form to have an abortion. Supporters claimed it was to prevent women from being coerced into having an abortion.  Instead, they managed to increase government interference and mandate coercion from the CPCs all the while taking away reproductive freedom in decisions that should be left up to a woman, her family and her doctor.

As expected, that questionable law is under judicial review.  However, one lawsuit on a clearly unconstitutional bill is not enough.  Fast forward to 2012 and Roger Hunt and his allies are at it again, introducing legislation to try and “tweak” the already intrusive law by adding false risk factors based on discredited pseudo-science and further restrictions such as forcing a physician to have a religious discussion with a women seeking an abortion.

This is just the beginning to the issues this legislation presents. There remain enough restrictions to make it tantamount to a ban on abortions in South Dakota. And, as the Argus Leader pointed out last year the previously private, but now pseudo-government agency created in the CPCs, could effectively prohibit abortions by simply refusing to see or provide women the information required in order to get the government’s permission to have an abortion.

It’s just not right for anyone to have to get permission from the government or its specified agent in order to get a legal medical procedure.  It is time to remind the legislature that South Dakotans have had enough.  We have voted down abortion bans twice already and they should not be attempted to circumvent the will of the people by placing so many government mandates between a women, her family and her doctor.

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