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Amendment To Abortion Bill Passes In Committee

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The amount of time women in South Dakota have to waiit to get an abortion could get even longer.

South Dakota is known for being one of the most restrictive states when it comes to allowing women to get an abortion. On Friday, Pro-Choice groups in South Dakota told the House Judiciary Committee if House Bill 1237 is passed, it would get even harder.

Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice South Dakota Alicia Sedor said, "The 72 hour mandatory delay already reflects the demeaning and erroneous assumption that woman don't not think carefully about abortion and are unable to make responsible decisions without governmental interference."

In South Dakota, there is already a law that requires women to go through an initial consultation, and then wait a minimum of 72 hours before they get an abortion.
Representative Jon Hansen of Dell Rapids says House Bill 1237 would amend that law.

Rep. Jon Hansen said, "The efforts to obtain the counseling cannot be carried by having an initial physician consultation on a Friday with the abortion on a Monday because the pregnancy help centers are not open."

The bill or amendment would exclude holidays and weekends from that 72-hour waiting period, which could lengthen it. Hansen says it would provide the pregnant mother with a reasonable opportunity to seek and obtain counseling.

Hansen said, "To ensure that the counseling can take place, to ensure that pregnancy health center can receive pregnant mothers for counseling."

However, those who oppose the bill say it allows even more time for coercion and the mother's health could be in danger.

Sedor said, "It would severely limit abortions in South Dakota. The measure could make it virtually impossible for women to get an abortion in South Dakota."

A tactic, the opposition says, would ban abortions for many, if not all women in South Dakota.

As of right now, the only place that provides abortions in South Dakota is Planned Parenthood. They are opposed to the amendment.
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