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Results tagged “waiting period” from Blog for Choice

Today, an extreme anti-choice policy to make it even harder for young women to get an abortion in Oklahoma goes into effect.

This new law will impact women regardless of their personal, private circumstances.

Oklahoma already has several anti-choice laws on the books, including a 48-hour forced waiting period and a parental-notice mandate before a woman can get abortion care. With these new restrictions now in force, in order for a young woman to get an abortion in Oklahoma, her parents also must provide a government-issued ID and a notarized statement of consent.

That's not all. Young women who have good reason not to include a parent in their decision to have an abortion are forced to get permission from the government. If, for example, a young woman fears violence if she tells her parents about her pregnancy, in order to access abortion care without notifying her parents, a judge must determine through "clear and convincing evidence" that she is "mature and capable...based upon her experience level, perspective, and judgment."

Because a young woman may be too immature for an abortion, yet she's somehow mature enough for parenthood? That makes entirely no sense.

Anti-choice proponents of these laws may say a judicial bypass is a reasonable "alternative", but that couldn't be further from the truth. Not long ago in Nebraska a young woman was denied an abortion because the judge ruled she was "not mature enough," and that getting an abortion would "kill the child inside" her.

Check out our graphic of states that have laws requiring women to get permission from a judge before getting abortion care if she feels she cannot share her unplanned pregnancy with her parents:


While we sincerely hope that all young women are able to turn to their parents for support when facing an unplanned pregnancy, sadly, that's not always the case. We should protect those who feel they can't talk to their parents - not put them in a potentially dangerous situation. These types of laws are being passed across the country.

Not only do these horrible anti-choice policies block a woman's constitutional right to choose, they also put our young women in difficult situations right in harm's way.

Ohio_state_seal.pngWhat could be more extreme than politicians in Ohio trying to take tax dollars from low-income families and give them to anti-choice "crisis pregnancy centers" that lie to women?

The outrageous - and in some cases just plain bizarre - anti-choice bill that NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio has dubbed the "Politicians Playing Doctor" Act.

Thirty-five politicians (and counting) are pushing this bill, which is so egregious that it will force providers to knowingly mislead pregnant women and in some cases even tell them that they do not need medical care at all.

This is truly an anti-choice monster of a bill, so we've broken it down. If passed, the "Politicians Playing Doctor Act" would:

  • Force women to undergo an ultrasound before she can get an abortion even if it's medically unnecessary - and then make her pay for it herself. In an especially outrageous twist, if the forced ultrasound does not show certain gestational markers that normally appear between four and six weeks, a woman's provider would be forced to tell her she will miscarry and therefore needs no further medical care at all.
  • Require a physician to swear under oath and under penalty of perjury that they've complied with every requirement of the bill or face up to 10 years in prison and pay a $1,000,000 fine.
  • Require doctors to lie to women about the "risks" of abortion care.
  • Extend Ohio's forced waiting period from 24 to 48 hours before a woman can get abortion care, even if she has a medical emergency. And with only one abortion clinic left in Ohio, the time it takes to schedule an appointment can amount to a day of a lot more than 48 hours.
  • Requires women to sign a "conflict of interest" statement that includes the physician or abortion facility's gross income, a percentage of that income that came from providing abortion care, and a statement explaining the financial loss if the woman decides not to get an abortion. It's clearly not about giving a woman information, it's about harassing and stigmatizing abortion providers.

Shocked yet? It gets worse: there is no exemption from any of these requirements if a woman is a survivor of rape, incest, or if her health depends on accessing abortion care sooner.

Politicians think lying, shaming, and even withholding care is medicine, and it's inexcusable. This bill demonstrates just how little regard anti-choice politicians have for women's safety - and how far they're willing to go to restrict a woman's right to choose in Ohio.

If you live in Ohio or have friends there who are as appalled as we are, join NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio and ask them to tell Ohio Gov. Kasich to stop these politicians from playing doctor and block this bill if it comes to his desk. You can also stand with Ohio women and tweet your disapproval of this bill to Gov. Kasich's twitter handle: @JohnKasich

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Last night, pro-choice U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) debated anti-choice opponent Gabriel Gomez in the lead up to the general election on June 25.

Voters learned three critical new facts about Gabriel Gomez's anti-choice position:

  1. Gomez would vote for anti-choice Supreme Court nominees that could set the wheels in motion for the overturn of Roe v. Wade.
  2. Gomez's campaign dismissed women's contraceptive coverage as just "inside baseball." That's a quaint way off laughing off one of the most important and hotly-debated women's issue of the last year.
  3. GomezBaseball.png large.png

  4. Gomez supports forced-waiting periods for women getting abortion care, saying "I don't think that's too much to ask." Tell that to women who have to drive hundreds or even thousands of miles to the nearest abortion provider, as well as pay for child care, a hotel room, and transportation costs.

Gomez said repeatedly that he wouldn't change laws around abortion. Doesn't he realize that U.S. senators vote on abortion-related issues all the time?

Last night's debate showed that Gabriel Gomez is completely out of touch with the very people he hopes to represent and cannot be trusted to protect their best interests. It's clear that Gomez would not work to protect and expand women's reproductive freedom. Instead, he could likely add unnecessary restrictions to burden women seeking reproductive-health services and abortion care.

NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC-endorsed Rep. Markey, on the other hand, trusts Massachusetts women and has a pro-choice record that spans more than three decades. That's why Rep. Markey is the only candidate women and their families in Massachusetts can trust to protect their freedom and privacy in the most personal of circumstances - not anti-choice politicians like Gabriel Gomez.

If you have friends in Massachusetts, make sure they know how dangerous Gabriel Gomez would be for women's reproductive freedom. When they head to the polls, they'll know who to vote into the Senate on June 25 - pro-choice Rep. Ed Markey.

Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America,, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

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The Dakotas Join the Anti-Choice Legislation Race


womenpatient.jpgDespite 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.

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Nick is a member of NARAL Pro-Choice America's policy department and a South Dakota native.

SD flag.jpgAnti-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 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."

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South Dakota Discovers Anti-Choice Laws Don't Come Free


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.

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South Dakota Passes First-of-its-Kind Assault on Women's Privacy

South Dakota has opened a new front in the War on Women. Gov. Dennis Daugaard has signed an unprecedented bill that expands the state's already considerable interference in the personal, private decisions of South Dakota women. 

The legislation is HB 1217, which forces a woman to undergo an in-person lecture at a "crisis pregnancy center" (CPC), many of which are biased, anti-choice, anti-contraception facilities whose sole purpose is to talk women out of considering abortion. The woman must make this visit even if it is against her will.

CPCs are notorious for intentionally misleading women seeking information about reproductive-health care. In fact, some centers force women to watch antiā€abortion films, slide shows, photographs, or hear lectures. Others refuse to provide information about or referrals for birth control, or spread misinformation such as "condoms don't protect against HIV/AIDS."

NARAL Pro-Choice America has been at the forefront of documenting the growing CPC trend for more than a decade. For more information about CPCs, see NARAL's fact sheet.

Isolating South Dakota Women

When facing the private decision of terminating a pregnancy, many women rely on trusted partners, friends, ministers, relatives, and loved ones for support. The new South Dakota law allows an anti-abortion organization to dictate who a woman could have with her at a "counseling session" - allowing the staff to separate a woman from the friend or relative who accompanies her.  

The 72-Hour Waiting Period

In addition to forcing women to undergo an in-person lecture from an anti-choice organization, HB 1217 also requires her to delay abortion care for 72 hours, which could threaten her health. In a rural state like South Dakota, this requirement could mean a forced delay of days or even weeks, compelling women to undergo later abortion care that poses increased health risks. South Dakota's waiting period would be the longest in the country.

Statement from NARAL Pro-Choice South Dakota

If you plan to write on this unprecedented bill, feel free to use the following quote for attribution from Alisha Sedor, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice South Dakota:

"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."

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