New South Dakota Law - Three-Day Wait for an Abortion


South Dakota's governor Dennis Daugaard signed into law on March 22, 2011 the longest abortion waiting period in the nation at three days, and opponents immediately promised a legal challenge to stop it from going into effect.

The Law

Not only does the new law require a woman who is seeking an abortion to wait three days it also requires her to undergo counseling. In a weak attempt to make the new law seem “friendly”, the counseling is to be certain that the woman is not being forced into having an abortion by a partner or even parents but to ensure the decision is the woman’s. The new law also strives to inform or educate the woman about having an abortion to what extent the education will have is unknown.

Daugaards Statement

"I think everyone agrees with the goal of reducing abortion by encouraging consideration of other alternatives," Daugaard said in a statement. "I hope that women who are considering an abortion will use this three-day period to make good choices."


In all the other states, the waiting period is a minimum of twenty-four hours and in many states, there is no waiting period. This new law is nothing more than a sad attempt to take the reproductive rights of a woman away. “Planned Parenthood, which operates the only health center in South Dakota that provides abortions, said on Tuesday it would file a lawsuit to stop the law. Supporters of the legislation have pledged to raise private funds to finance a defense of the law, scheduled to take effect July 1.”



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