SDCHF Applauds Court Move to Prevent Implementation of Overbearing Law

Sioux Falls – The South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families applauded Judge Karen Schreier’s decision to grant a temporary injunction preventing the implementation of HB1217, the South Dakota law that forces women into government-mandated intervention when seeking abortion care.

“This law oversteps the bounds and creates unreasonable interference in a doctor patient relationship by placing government and an unlicensed, unregulated and untrained third party between a women and the health care she seeks,” said Jan Nicolay, SDCHF co-chair. “We are thankful that Judge Schreier recognized there are far too many unanswered legal questions that must be addressed and granted the injunction,” Nicolay continued.

Prior to the injunction, the law would have gone into effect on July 1 and extended the existing abortion-waiting period from 24 to 72 hours. It further mandated that woman receive so called “counseling” at unregulated “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” that are nothing more than sham clinics set up to specifically dissuade women from getting abortions at all cost and regardless of individual circumstance. CPCs are not doctors’ offices; they are unregulated organizations staffed by volunteers, without medical training and there are no standards for receiving un-biased, accurate medical information.

“In South Dakota, we have twice voted against further restrictions on access to reproductive healthcare. The proponents of government intrusion like HB1217 have forgotten that we do not want interference in personal, private decisions that are best left up to a woman, her family and her doctor,” Nicolay continued. The South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families remains committed to the women and families of South Dakota and will continue our mission of improving the social welfare of our state by fostering and preserving a social and political climate favorable to the exercise of reproductive choice,” Nicolay concluded.

SD Campaign for Healthy Families is a newly formed non-profit corporation in South Dakota that seeks to improve the social welfare of our state by fostering and preserving a social and political climate favorable to the exercise of reproductive choice, while encouraging and protecting informed individual choice regarding reproductive healthcare. The corporation is an offshoot of a similarly named coalition formed to defeat abortion ban ballot measures in 2006 and 2008.

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HB1217 Lawsuit Filed to Protect South Dakota Women

Today, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU filed their planned lawsuit against the State of South Dakota in order to prevent HB1217 from taking effect and further restricting the access South Dakota women have to reproductive health care.

As we stated so many times earlier this year, HB 1217 is a bad bill that represents the worst kind of government intrusion - This poorly written legislation creates a government mandate forcing women to undergo “counseling” with untrained volunteers from unregulated, ideologically-driven crisis pregnancy centers about their highly confidential medical decisions, without any guarantee of privacy.

We are standing strong with our coalition partners as they fight HB1217 in the courts, but we need your help to prevent future battles.

It doesn’t take a crystal ball to predict that anti-choice legislators, emboldened by the passage of HB1217, will try to take even more drastic measures during the 2012 legislative session. Please take a moment to visit our donate page and support our efforts to inform SD lawmakers that their constituents want them to keep anti-choice zealots from using our state as a proving ground for their radical agenda, and to focus on governing, not government intrusion.

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A De Facto Ban? You Don’t Say!

Three months ago we knew that the anti-choice forces behind South Dakota House Bill 1217  - a bill that would force women to undergo “counseling” at a crisis pregnancy center prior to accessing a safe, legal abortion in South Dakota – were intending to use the measure to enact a de facto ban on abortion in the state by throwing up as many road blocks as possible.  This past week we’ve gotten further confirmation that this has been their intent all along.

The Argus Leader reported that crisis pregnancy centers are unsure if they will register with the state, meaning it is a distinct possibility that no woman could receive the “counseling” mandated by HB1217, meaning it is a distinct possibility that no woman could obtain abortion services in the State of South Dakota.   Perennial anti-choice zealot Leslee Unruh was particularly cagey about whether or not the Alpha Center, the largest CPC in the state, would register, saying “Maybe, maybe not. I’m not sure.”

It is not a stretch to believe that this situation is what Leslee and her cohort Roger Hunt have envisioned right from the start.

For an excellent breakdown on the affects of HB1217 and the war on reproductive rights in South Dakota, take a moment to watch this clip from the Rachel Maddow Show.  Then visit our donation page to help us continue the fight against government intrusion into the personal decisions of women and families.

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This is Why We Keep Fighting

This past week there have been several articles appearing in Jezebel, Politico and Slate outlining how choice opponents are slowly chipping away at reproductive rights.

From Slate:

“Since the start of this year, 916 measures seeking to regulate reproductive health have been introduced in 49 states. According to the Guttmacher Institute, by the end of March, 15 laws had been enacted in seven states.”

This is no accident and anti-choice advocates are publically flaunting their strategy.

Rev. Pat Mahoney : “We don’t have to see a Roe v. Wade overturned in the Supreme Court to end it. … We want to. But if we chip away and chip away, we’ll find out that Roe really has no impact. And that’s what we are doing.”

We bore witness to this strategy again in South Dakota this past legislative session.  And while we were successful in defeating the surrogacy ban and the “kill the doctor bill” before the legislature, the highly coercive government intrusion contained within HB1217 is set to go into effect on July 1.

While our coalition partners standby to challenge this poorly written legislation that create a government mandate forcing women to consult with volunteers from unregulated organizations about their highly confidential medical decisions without any guarantee of privacy from the organizations, we must remain hyper vigilant against such government intrusion.

Please sign up to our email list and encourage your friends to do the same.  We will continue to keep South Dakotans informed of efforts to restrict reproductive rights.

Then, friend us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

We know that as South Dakota goes, so goes the nation.  Help us spread the word.

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Money Trail Update Must Read

With the last day of the legislative session behind us and the pending litigation on HB1217 moving forward there remains a  lot of interest both locally and nationally on reproductive health issues in South Dakota and the legislature’s continued assault on reproductive rights.

Today, Megan Luther at the Argus Leader continues to expose the loophole announced by Bureau of Administration Commissioner Paul Kinsman last week when he stated that he would accept unaddressed, anonymous cash into the account designated for the so-called “Life Protection Sub fund” rather upholding the intent of the law as outlined by Secretary of State Jason Gant and the Attorney General’s office.

Luther highlights the spirit of the law and points out a 2006 AG opinion on the matter:

In 2006, when the subfund was created, state Commissioner of the Bureau of Administration Paul Kinsman sought an official ruling from then-Attorney General Larry Long about whether anonymous donations would be accepted.

Long ruled that state law required receipts to be kept for money given to the state and that records required by law to be kept are open to public inspection.

“The fact that a contributor wishes to remain anonymous has no effect on the public nature of the receipt,” Long wrote in his opinion

This is not a small issue as it drives at the heart of open government and who is trying to buy the laws of South Dakota.  Call Mr. Kinsman at (605) 773-3688 or email him and tell him to uphold the law and reject any attempts to anonymously buy our government.

You can read the entire article here.

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