Bill Amends Abortion Counseling Bill Held Up In Court

Feb 2, 2018


A Senate committee is passing along a bill that amends provisions to the state’s mandatory third-party pre-abortion counseling.

Senate Bill 110 permits those counselors to provide additional information for those seeking an abortion.

However, the law that bill is amending is currently on hold in the courts.

Victoria Wicks

The history of birth control and abortion is a long one. In the United States, abortion and contraception were legal from Colonial times until the late 1800s. Then state legislatures, pushed by the American Medical Association, began outlawing abortion. And some states adopted and expanded Comstock laws, set by the federal postal service to ban the shipping of contraceptives and informational pamphlets.

At about the same time these laws were passed, the concept of the right to privacy began to emerge.

Victoria Wicks

The legal status of birth control and abortion has evolved over the years, resulting in an established right to privacy that continues to play out in the courts.

A Black Hills State professor led a panel discussion on that topic on March 28 in Rapid City.

About two dozen people came together inside the Dahl Arts Center meeting room, as about the same number of protesters stood outside the window.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

Protesters in South Dakota face new penalties if lawmakers can agree on a final version of Senate Bill 176. The protest bill started out with specific safety zones and an emergency clause. Lawmakers amended the bill as it moved through the capitol.

South Dakota lawmakers want the governor to approve a bill that offers limited immunity to people in drug overdose emergencies.  House Bill 1082 protects a person from drug prosecution when they call authorities to help someone in serious danger of overdosing.

The Senate Commerce and Energy Committee has deferred a maternity leave bill to the 41st day. Senate Bill 150 provides up to four weeks of paid maternity leave.  Mothers earn one week of paid leave for every year of full time work.

South Dakota’s House of Representatives supports a change in the state’s penalty for abortion. House Bill 1101 makes it a felony  to perform or attempt to perform an abortion when the fetus can feel pain. Right now that’s a misdemeanor. State law says a fetus feels pain at 20 weeks. The measure includes an exception for medical emergencies. 

The New Colossus

In The Moment... February 2, 2017 - Show 022, Hour 1

Both abortion rights advocates and opponents in South Dakota agree the recent US Supreme Court decision on a Texas case won’t immediately affect current state law.
Libby Skarin is a policy director for the ACLU in South Dakota. She says while the Supreme Court’s decision won’t directly impact state law, it may quell any additional laws that seek to regulate abortion.

Photo courtesy of G. Michael Fenner

The U.S. Supreme Court is currently deliberating a Texas abortion case. The ruling is expected later this month.

Texas says its laws protect the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens. But opponents say the laws are designed to block the availability of the procedure.

A decisive opinion from the Supreme Court could resolve problems with certain abortion laws in South Dakota and other states, some of them hung up in appeals courts.

Statehouse Podcast: Abortion And Education Among Final Bills

Mar 7, 2016

The Statehouse Podcast for March 7th, 2016 includes coverage of legislation on abortion, education, and confined animal feedlots.

Informed Consent Abortion Bill Passes

Mar 7, 2016
Charles Michael Ray

House Bill 1157 has cleared the state legislature.

The measure requires medical doctors to inform a woman who is undergoing a drug-induced abortion that she can stop the procedure by not taking a second pill. 

Statehouse Podcast: Abortion, Education, Vehicular Homicide

Mar 2, 2016

The Statehouse Podcast for March 2nd, 2016 includes coverage of legislation on abortion, education, vehicular homicide, elder abuse, CAFOs, and Medicaid expansion. 

House Committee Passes Abortion Ban

Mar 2, 2016

A bill banning abortions after 22 weeks of pregnancy is continuing through the South Dakota legislature. Members of the House State Affairs Committee passed the measure with a 12 to one vote.

Statehouse Podcast: Education, Abortion, Medical Marijuana

Feb 23, 2016

The Statehouse Podcast for February 23, 2016 includes coverage of legislation on education, abortion, medical marijuana , human trafficking, child pornography, and the transgender bathroom bill.  

Senators Pass Bill Banning Abortions After 22 Weeks

Feb 23, 2016

State Senators passed a measure that bans abortions after 22 weeks. The bill’s supporters say it’s because of the unborn baby’s ability to feel pain. Much of the testimony included emotional personal stories.


Statehouse Podcast: Medical Marijuana, Death Penalty, Ed Funding

Feb 10, 2016

The Statehouse Podcast for February 10th, 2016 includes coverage of legislation on medical marijuana, the death penalty, education funding, healthcare, sex ed, and abortion.


The Statehouse Podcast for February 8th, 2016 includes coverage of legislation on: abortion regulations, education funding, religious freedom and LGBT civil rights, open meetings, and a courthouse and capitol enhanced conceal carry bill.

A bill before the South Dakota Legislature requires doctors to provide additional information to women considering an abortion. The measure adds to the informed consent law.


Statehouse Podcast: Hemp, Abortion Facility Inspections, and Fetal Body Parts

Feb 2, 2016
Jenifer Jones

The Statehouse Podcast for February 2nd, 2016 includes stories on legislation dealing with hemp growing, abortion facility inspections, fetal body parts, and gates on fences over streams to allow kayakers and canoes through.

South Dakota lawmakers are looking to close a hole in a law that allows women to have abortions based on the gender of the baby. Supporters of House Bill 1162 say other states have already passed sex-selective abortion bans and it’s unlikely South Dakota’s would be challenged in court. Both sides of the issue agree it’s unlikely these abortions happen in the state, but proponents say it’s a way to be proactive. Senator Angie Buhl O’Donnell opposes the legislation.

State lawmakers are in favor of keeping adoption agencies from applying for pregnancy help center status. Under legislation passed three years ago, women seeking an abortion must wait 72-hours and receive counseling at pregnancy help centers. Current law restricts abortion clinics from the help center designation.

Supporters of House Bill 1180 say women seeking an abortion need neutral counseling centers. The bill also requires pregnancy help centers to annually report licensed counselors to the Department of Health, which proponents say strengthens the counseling requirement.

More Discussion Needed on Sex-Selective Abortion Ban

Mar 3, 2014

State lawmakers want more time to address concerns over legislation that bans sex-selective abortions in South Dakota. House Bill 1162 makes it illegal for a doctor to perform an abortion based on the sex of the baby, and doing so is a Class 6 felony.

Opponents argue it targets Asian women and attempts to make obtaining any abortion more difficult. Abbie Peterson with NARAL South Dakota says HB 1162 isn’t the way to combat gender discrimination.

For many years, abortion has been a topic of discussion amongst lawmakers in Pierre. In most instances, similar bills put the Pro-Life and Pro-Choice legislators against each other. This new abortion bill didn’t follow the same trend.

House Passes Ban on Sex Selective Abortions

Feb 19, 2014

The House of Representatives passed a measure that makes it illegal to have an abortion based solely on the sex of the baby. House Bill 1162 is compliant with current South Dakota abortion laws, including the 72-hour waiting period and informed consent. But it emphasizes physicians performing abortions to question whether the mother is doing so based on sex.

A bill that further restricts pregnancy help centers from providing adoptions passed through the South Dakota House of Representatives Monday. Under current law, pregnancy help centers that counsel pregnant women cannot provide abortions – the bill expands to include adoptions.

Abortion Wait Raises Debate

Mar 29, 2013

House Bill 12-37 was signed by Governor Dennis Daugaard earlier this month, extending South Dakota’s 72-hour abortion waiting period to not include weekends or holidays. As SDPB’s Jilanne Doom reports in today’s Dakota Digest, though the bill is now law, the abortion argument in the state is far from over.

“Hi, I’m Caitlin DeGroot. I’m 21 and I am a mom of an almost-two-year-old Charlie. Charlie, you want to say hi?”

On Wednesday, the Senate State Affairs committee approved a bill to extend the 72-hour waiting period for abortion. The waiting period was mandated in 2011, along with prolife counseling. This current proposal, House Bill 1237, omits weekends and holidays from the waiting period.

Proponents say the waiting period gives pregnant women more time to contemplate the choice, and that mandated counseling ensures that women aren’t being coerced into abortion by the biological father or family members.

House Votes To Further Restrict Abortion

Feb 21, 2013

A bill further restricting access to abortion in South Dakota passed through the House side and is now headed to the Senate. In 2011, a new state abortion law required a 72-hour waiting period, among other constraints. This year, House Bill 1237 says weekends and holidays should not count when the 72 hours are tallied.

GOP Leaders On Prenatal Medicaid, Abortion

Feb 15, 2013

At a weekly legislative news conference, GOP leaders fielded questions about abortion and Medicaid expansion to pregnant women for prenatal care. This is for women not covered by any other health policy and falling above the income level to qualify for Medicaid currently.

Senator Deb Peters says the cost of covering those women is estimated to be $2.6 million from the general fund and $3.7 million from federal funding. She says one Democratic and two Republican caucuses decide how the state’s money is spent.