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New South Dakota abortion rule enters into legal fight

Planned Parenthood and ACLU of South Dakota are asking the court system to block a new state rule on medication abortions.
Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 9:07 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Planned Parenthood and ACLU of South Dakota are asking the court system to block a new state rule on medication abortions. They claim the new rule not only violates doctor and patient privacy, but will also make it logistically impossible for some to get an abortion in the state.

“A person’s right to an abortion is a private, medical decision. But it’s clear the attacks on South Dakotans’ privacy are not letting up. Politicians and state agencies should not be inserting themselves into the doctor-patient relationship.” said ACLU of South Dakota Communications Director Janna Farley.

The two groups are requesting relief from the Department of Health’s new rule that patients seeking access to medicated abortions must make three visits to a doctor, with an additional waiting period. In the complaint, Planned Parenthood estimates that there will be 30 percent less availability in appointments at their only location in the state. They also state that for traveling patients, it may be logistically impossible and unsafe after extra waiting time.

“We don’t need to be creating undue burdens on any South Dakotan to access the medical care that they need.” said Farley.

In response to the lawsuit, Governor Noem’s Communication Director Ian Fury said in a statement to Dakota News Now that Planned Parenthood and ACLU of South Dakota are only looking out for their own interests, and not that of South Dakotans.

“Governor Noem is focused on protecting women’s health. The ACLU and Planned Parenthood have shown that they are more worried about their bottom line.”

Communications Director Ian Fury

But Farley said the rule change would be in violation of the constitution, and only make medication abortions in the state and effectively impossible to get for some who need it.

“The goal of the lawsuit is to stop the changes of this rule from going into effect. And ultimately for a judgement to say that the Department of Health’s rule violates the constitutional rights of our plaintiffs and their patients.” said Farley.

Should the court not uphold Planned Parenthood and ACLU of South Dakota’s request for relief, the Department of Health rule change will take effect on January 27th.

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