Don’t Relax, We are Not Out of the Woods.

Cory Heidelberger over at Madville Times has a good synopsis on the reproductive rights battle in the legislature thus far this session. While Cory argues that it could have been worse, we still have a lot to fight for this year; so don’t relax yet.

HB1254 “tweaks” 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, the problem is that adding requirements to an already bad law doesn’t make it any better. Women still are still 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 further creates additional burdensome government regulations that tell insurers and employers that want to provide coverage how they must calculate insurance premiums and provide certain notices. While we are not experts in health insurance policies, it would appear that that state is creating a special exclusionary class of coverage specifically pertaining to women and that is just not right.

Meanwhile, the governor’s office is refusing to implement federal health care reform because of too much “uncertainty” surrounding the outcome of their lawsuit against the feds.

At a minimum, we must know whether this law is constitutional before we pass legislation at the state level, Daugaard said in a statement.

We feel that the legislature should heed Governor Daugaard’s advice and not pass further unconstitutional restrictions on reproductive healthcare especially while these matters are tied up in court.

Another bill in search of a problem is HB 1255 which makes surrogacy contracts unenforceable.

HB1255 Last year saw a ban on surrogacy 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. To make matters worse, a woman has 6 months to come back and take a child away from desperate parents.

The SD Campaign for Healthy Families believes the exercise of reproductive choice and protecting informed individual choice regarding reproductive health care which includes surrogacy as an option.  The legislature should not prohibit such arrangements.

It is not all dark news coming out of Pierre. HB1150, which seeks to prevent false advertising by limited services pregnancy centers. If made law this bill would stop organizations like the Alpha Center from masquerading as doctors offices. This bill will be up for a hearing on Thursday, February 2nd. Contact your legislator and let them know you want to see this bill passed out of committee. Don’t know your legislator, find them here.

We encourage you to make your voice heard on these bills and please attend your local legislative events, a schedule can be found here.

This entry was posted in blog, latest news and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.