Results tagged “South Dakota” from Blog for Choice
Despite the fact that seven in 10 Americans do not want to see Roe v. Wade overturned, politicians across the country continue to propose anti-choice legislation that chips away at women's reproductive rights.
In North and South Dakota, anti-choice politicians are mounting these attacks at an alarming rate.
From so-called "personhood" measures, to bills that ban abortion before most women even know they are pregnant, to unnecessary waiting periods for women who seek abortion care, women's access to reproductive-health care is becoming more and more restricted.
Alisha Sedor, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice South Dakota, commented on anti-choice lawmakers' recent attempts to extend the forced-waiting period for women seeking abortion care in the state:
"H.B.1237, if passed, will severely limit access to abortion in South Dakota, making it virtually impossible for women to access needed reproductive health-care. The measure could make it impossible for the state's only comprehensive women's health clinic to continue providing abortion services, effectively banning abortion in South Dakota."
And just like South Dakota, many of these anti-choice initiatives are being pushed forward in states which may only have one abortion clinic in the entire state. An upcoming film, "The Last Clinic", highlights the attacks on choice and the unknown fate of Mississippi's last remaining abortion clinic.
Nick Wunder, a member of NARAL Pro-Choice America's policy department and a South Dakota native, worked on the ground with our affiliate in that state to stop these extreme anti-choice attacks to women's freedom and privacy.
Nick is a member of NARAL Pro-Choice America's policy department and a South Dakota native.
Anti-choice politicians in South Dakota gained notoriety in 2011 by passing an extreme measure that forces a woman to submit to a state-mandated in-person lecture at an anti-choice crisis pregnancy center (CPC), wait 72 hours, and make three trips before getting abortion care. Thankfully, a federal judge blocked the 2011 law from going into effect, but anti-choice state legislators keep trying to up the ante. In 2012, they amended the law to make it even worse: now the law forces doctors to probe women about deeply personal topics, including her religious beliefs--even if against her will. Fortunately, again the courts enjoined it.
I didn't think these anti-choice politicians could take it any further, but they proved me wrong. Last week, South Dakota state Rep. Jon Hansen introduced HB 1237, a bill that would redefine the 72-hour forced delay to apply only to business days, so that weekends and holidays wouldn't count toward the three-day waiting period. This demeaning bill assumes that women can make medical decisions that impact their lives only during business hours. Apparently, on weekends and holidays women just can't think for themselves. It's insulting.
This bill would put abortion care even further out of reach for women who already live in one of the most difficult states for reproductive-health services. South Dakota has only one abortion provider, and in many cases, women must travel long distances for care. It would have the worst effect on low-income women, rural women, and Native-American women, all of whom have the hardest time getting health-care services. Facing a mandatory delay and a two-trip requirement, women also may need to take time off from work or school, and arrange for child care, transportation, and overnight stays.
I did the math: in practice, this bill could mean delays of weeks. Such a long waiting period could have serious consequences for women's health. Apparently Rep. Hansen and his anti-choice allies don't feel that protecting the health of women in South Dakota is a priority.
As NARAL Pro-Choice South Dakota executive director Alisha Sedor points out, HB 1237 perpetuates "antiquated and sexist views of women...by implying that they are unable to make decisions about their reproductive health-care if it isn't a business day."
This tone-deaf measure fundamentally misreads where South Dakotans stand on government interference in citizens' private lives. And I should know--I grew up on a third-generation family farm in the northwestern corner of the state. South Dakotans understand that politicians have no business interfering with a woman's private health-care decisions. But you don't have to take my word for it: South Dakota voters have twice rejected abortion bans at the ballot box. Anti-choice politicians just don't get it.
Maybe that's why the Rapid City Journal selected HB1237 as the "Odd Bill of the Week."
On Tuesday, June 5 voters in six states will head to the polls for congressional primaries.
The Golden State is home to some of our greatest champions of choice in Congress. Let's send them back to Washington, and score some pro-choice pickups, too!
Californians are lucky to have many strong pro-choice candidates running.
NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC endorsed Sen. Dianne Feinstein for re-election. She's been a consistent champion of choice, and we need her in the U.S. Senate!
NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC also endorsed a number of candidates for U.S. House of Representatives:
Pete Aguilar in District 31
Ami Bera in District 7
State Rep. Julia Brownley in District 26
Rep. Lois Capps in District 24
Rep. Judy Chu in District 27
Jose Hernandez in District 10
Rep. Barbara Lee in District 13
Leader Nancy Pelosi in District 12
Rep. Jackie Speier in District 14
Rep. Henry Waxman in District 33
If you live in California, check out our voter guide so you can vote pro-choice down this line.
In the Garden State, NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC endorsed Rep. Steve Rothman in the Democratic primary for the 9th Congressional District.
Rep. Rothman is a consistent champion of a woman's right to choose. Right now, he's locked in a primary battle with Rep. Bill Pascrell, who has cast 21 anti-choice votes during his time in Congress.
In New Mexico, NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC endorsed Rep. Martin Heinrich for U.S. Senate. He's been fighting to stop the War on Women in the U.S. House of Representatives. Now, we need him to bring his pro-choice values to the U.S. Senate!
Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
In case you didn't see our Facebook graphic last week, we've had a serious nationwide outbreak of politicians who are practicing medicine without a license.
The inimitable Gail Collins of The New York Times takes on these politicians who think they know what's best for women's health. In particular, she highlights an outrageous new law in South Dakota:
Last year, South Dakota -- which has a grand total of one abortion provider -- instituted a 72-hour waiting period, plus a requirement that the woman undergo a lecture at one of the state's anti-abortion pregnancy counseling centers.
This law is tied up by litigation. While they're waiting, the legislators have improved upon their work, requiring the doctor to ask his patient -- who may have already traveled for hours, waited for three days and gone through the counseling center harangue -- questions including what her religious background is and how she thinks her family might react to the decision to end the pregnancy.
"South Dakota has taken the I.R.S. audit model and applied it to women's reproduction," said Ted Miller of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
And it's not just South Dakota.
Last week, Garry Trudeau's "Doonesbury" used humor and satire to bring attention to Texas' forced-ultrasound law. But for women subjected to this invasive law, it's anything but funny.
The Texas Observer reports on one woman whose wanted pregnancy experienced terrible complications. This family's personal tragedy was made all the more hellish by a state-mandated attack on their privacy:
The doctor and nurse were professional and kind, and it was clear that they understood our sorrow. They too apologized for what they had to do next. For the third time that day, I exposed my stomach to an ultrasound machine, and we saw images of our sick child forming in blurred outlines on the screen.
"I'm so sorry that I have to do this," the doctor told us, "but if I don't, I can lose my license." Before he could even start to describe our baby, I began to sob until I could barely breathe. Somewhere, a nurse cranked up the volume on a radio, allowing the inane pronouncements of a DJ to dull the doctor's voice. Still, despite the noise, I heard him. His unwelcome words echoed off sterile walls while I, trapped on a bed, my feet in stirrups, twisted away from his voice.
Personal, private medical decisions need to be left up to a woman and her doctor--not politicians who have never met them.
South Dakota's anti-choice governor, Dennis Daugaard, just released his 2012 budget proposal. It shows he's willing to use taxpayers' dollars to advance his anti-choice agenda.
In particular, Gov. Daugaard has budgeted $750,000 in legal fees to defend in court an outrageous, anti-choice measure that he signed into law earlier this year.
This is the law that forces a woman to wait 72 hours before receiving abortion care, and mandates that she receive an in-person lecture from an anti-choice "crisis pregnancy center" (CPC). CPCs are notorious for intentionally misleading women seeking information about reproductive-health care.
A federal court blocked the law from going into effect this summer, but Gov. Daugaard and his anti-choice buddies are appealing the ruling--at an estimated cost of $750,000 in taxpayer money.
Here's an idea: maybe, instead of spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars defending a law that forces women to hear misinformation from a CPC, they could, um, not do that.
Maybe they could spend that money on education, or roads, or job training, or health care, or better school lunches.
Do you have an idea for how better to spend $750,000 than on attacking women's health? Share it here in the comments section.
Gov. Daugaard's budget proposal makes one thing clear: as much as these politicians may hate government spending, they hate women's freedom and privacy more.
In South Dakota and in legislatures across the USA, this is proving to be a banner year for lawmakers attempting to marginalize a woman's right to choose, under the guise of other objectives.
"Gov. Daugaard is ignoring the citizens of South Dakota, who have twice expressed that they do not want the government to intrude on their private medical decisions. It is outrageous for politicians to interfere in the doctor-patient relationship in such an egregious way. Forcing women, against their will, to consult with an unlicensed, anti-choice, individual about their pregnancies flies in the face of patient privacy."
South Dakota politicians have now made our state the first in the country to pass such a far-reaching bill that disrespects the doctor-patient relationship and turns women's health care into a game of government mandates. Politicians want to tell women who they can talk to before making a profoundly personal medical decision. It is hard to out-do insurance companies and HMOs when it comes to being told what doctor you can see or where you can access medical care, but the legislators behind this bill are doing just that.
- Alison Mondi, public policy director at NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, will provide a "lay of the land," discussing how many CPCs there are in the state, where they are located, and a general overview of their tactics.
- Kanika Chander, volunteer attorney at Legal Voice, will talk about a proposed bill in the Washington state Legislature that would require that CPCs adhere to truth-in-advertising standards.
- Dr. Anna Altshuler will provide a medical perspective on why CPCs are problematic, and discuss the types of medical misinformation CPC operators commonly spread.
- Kelly McDonald will share her personal story of visiting a CPC.
This bill is beyond intrusive. These politicians want to tell women who they can talk to before making a profoundly personal medical decision. It is hard to out-do insurance companies and HMOs when it comes to being told what doctor you can see or where you can access medical care, but the legislators behind this bill are doing just that. They want South Dakota to become the first state to pass a bill that disrespects the doctor-patient relationship and turns women's health care into a game of government mandates.
Good news from South Dakota, according to the AP:
A legislative committee won't require doctors who perform abortions in South Dakota to schedule an appointment with patient a day before the procedure.
The Senate Health and Human Services Committee voted 4-3 on Wednesday to kill SB92, which would have required a doctor to schedule time with a patient the day before an abortion, whether the patient wants or keeps the appointment.
Supporters said it's good medical practice to have a consultation at least a day before a procedure such as abortion. Opponents said the bill is an attempt by government to interfere in medical practice.
Excellent! Congratulations to the executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice South Dakota, Casey Murschel, for all of your hard work.
State victories make for a good day, especially when they come from South Dakota who has seen more than their fair share of abortion-related bills.
Kirsten Suhr is the Associate Director of Communications for Online Strategies at NARAL Pro-Choice America.
I was disappointed to see the results of the Georgia senate race. But thanks to everyone who campaigned and voted for Jim Martin. Let's not forget we still made some terrific gains this year!
A whole slew of interesting choice-related articles and blog posts have come up in the past few days. Here are some of my favorites.
- Washington Post: The Checkup: Does Abortion Traumatize Women? - A new examination of previous studies found the most scientifically accurate ones didn't find a correlation between abortion and depression.
- Bangor Daily News: Battle Looms on Access to Birth Control - Maine may soon face a battle over teens' access to contraception.
- CBS News: Why Won't South Dakota Ban Abortion? - Interesting examination into why the SD abortion ban ballot measure failed. NARAL Pro-Choice South Dakota and other pro-choice groups in the state did a lot of voter education work on this issue.
- Reuters: FDA rule change boosts access to morning-after pill - Report finds it's easier for women to get Plan B now that it's available without a prescription. But...
- The Consumerist: Walgreens Jerks You Around When You Try To Buy Plan B - Author reports on his girlfriend's experience getting Plan B at a Walgreens in Mississippi.
- Kirsten Moore at RHRealityCheck: Principled Choices - "I believe President-elect Obama can teach us all a thing or two about respecting the choices that other people make in their lives and carrying that respect through into our public policies."
- Nancy Keenan in The Huffington Post: The Pro-Choice Future Caught on Video: What is free.will.power? - NARAL Pro-Choice America's president talks about our new campaign.
Have you seen any good ones I missed? Feel free to leave a link in the comments. Enjoy!
Casey Murschel - executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice South Dakota, former Republican legislator, and key leader in the coordinated effort to defeat the ban - said the proposal's second consecutive loss hopefully will stop future attacks on a woman's right to choose:
South Dakotans faced long odds against a dangerous and deceptive abortion ban backed by a misleading anti-choice marketing scheme. We never wavered in talking to our neighbors at church or at the grocery store about the need to stop this abortion ban. Tonight, the message to South Dakota's anti-choice groups is clear: Enough is enough--stop trying to make our state the testing ground for efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Let's give a hand to the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families. Y'all knocked it out of the park on this one.
South Dakota has an abortion ban on the ballot this November...am I having déjà vu?
Unfortunately not. But South Dakotans rejected a version of it in 2006, and we're going to do all we can to make sure that happens again this fall.
To launch this effort, NARAL Pro-Choice South Dakota Executive Director Casey Murschel flew to DC and came together today with NARAL Pro-Choice America and several wonderful partners: South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families, Planned Parenthood, ACLU, and Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health.
As Nancy Keenan said this afternoon, this effort threatens the entire country, because those behind the ban want to see it lead to the overturn of Roe v. Wade. Today's Wall Street Journal article echoes Nancy's sentiments:
"Ban proponents hope it would be challenged in court and eventually entice the Supreme Court to revisit Roe. That is where the presidential race comes in. Democratic Sen. Barack Obama has said abortion should remain legal and wants to preserve Roe, while Republican Sen. John McCain wants Roe to be overturned."
There's a lot of great organizations fighting this ban, but that doesn't mean they don't need help. Make sure you check out NARAL Pro-Choice South Dakota and South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families to see what you can do to get involved and spread the word.
Let's have good déjà vu this year - South Dakota firmly rejecting the ban.
Despite the fact that South Dakota's abortion laws are among the most restrictive in the country, the anti-choice group Vote Yes For Life filed their petition for a ban on abortion on Monday. Leslee Unruh, the executive director of Vote Yes For Life that led the group's failed campaign to ban abortion in 2006, claims to have turned in close to 50,000 signatures.
While the near total abortion ban was rejected in 2006 by 56 percent of South Dakotans, this year's ban would "make it a class 4 felony to perform any kind of abortion or prescribe, procure or sell drugs or any other items to induce abortion unless the exceptions applied." From the Rapid City Journal:
... opponents of this year's initiative say the exceptions in the proposal are too onerous and intrusive to be workable. Dr. Marvin Buehner of Rapid City, a specialist in obstetrics and gynecology, said the law would require doctors performing an abortion to collect DNA from the woman and fetal tissue, and then be responsible for the "chain of custody" to law enforcement officers. Violations could mean a Class 4 felony, which would intimidate most doctors, Buehner said.
Requiring proof that a pregnancy poses a "serious risk of substantial and irreversible harm to major bodily functions" before an abortion could be performed would create "a pretty high bar," Buehner said.
"I just don't know any physicians who would chance that," he said. "Women with health problems would be likely to be sent out of state."
Buehner, board member with the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families, said voters who rejected the 2006 ban send a message that Unruh and others supporting the initiative are trying to ignore.
"I think when they voted, the majority felt that 'no' meant 'no' on this," he said. "And from my standpoint as a physician, these exceptions really don't constitute exceptions."
Read more here and please visit the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families and NARAL Pro-Choice South Dakota to see how you can get involved. You can also download an incredibly useful document, "Behind the Ban: Politics and South Dakota's Abortion Ban" by clicking here.