Anti-Choice Shenanigans Underway

The South Dakota legislative session is moving along quickly and the anti-choice shenanigans are well underway.

Last week, pro-choice supporters introduced HB1150, a common sense piece of legislation that would have required that limited service pregnancy centers – commonly referred to as Crisis Pregnancy Centers – be truthful in their advertising practices.

Unfortunately, anti-choice legislators on the committee got the upper hand when they used legislative maneuvering to “hoghouse” the bill, reverse its intent and place further restrictions on legitimate women’s health care facilities. Thankfully, following the amendment, common sense prevailed and the bill died in committee.

Nevertheless, the situation demonstrates just how far anti-choice advocates will go and why we must remain vigilant.

Reproductive rights bills that have yet to have their first committee hearing include:

HB1254 – revisits the coercive mandated counseling women must endure from unlicensed, unregulated pregnancy centers prior to getting permission to obtain an abortion. Thankfully, that law is currently enjoined as it makes its way through the courts. However, adding requirements to an already bad law does not necessarily make it any better. Women still are forced to talk to someone, who is not their chosen doctor, about their private medical decisions and doctors are still forced to provide erroneous and misleading information to women about their medical care. We don’t need more government intrusion into a private medical decision that is best let up to women, their families and doctor.

HB1185 – prohibits private insurance companies from offering coverage for abortion services as part of a regular health insurance policy, both inside and outside the health care exchanges created under the federal health care reform. It creates additional burdensome government regulations that tell insurers and employers that want to provide coverage how they must calculate and charge insurance premiums and would likely stop any, including voluntary, coverage for abortion in health care policies.

HB1255 – In yet another effort at restricting reproductive rights, a surrogacy ban resurfaced in the current legislative session. Last year saw a surrogacy ban that went after doctors, lawyers and parents desperate to have a child and turned them into criminals. This year’s bill prohibits commercial surrogacy (exchange of money or other consideration as compensation) but also makes all non-commercial surrogacy contracts unenforceable and grants legal status and automatic custody of any child born out of such arrangements to the woman who bears the child. This bill is just one more example of the continuing attack on reproductive rights in South Dakota.

Please contact your legislator and let them know you oppose further government intrusion on reproductive health care in South Dakota. Tell them to let families decide.

Don’t know your legislator, find them here.

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