SD Abortion Bill Would Require Patient See Sonogram and Hear Possible Heartbeat

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – It’s back to business for the South Dakota state legislature, and lawmakers have a number of bills to discuss. One of them concerns a hot-button issue, abortion.

It’s a bill that’s been in the works for two years, and now, it’s making its way to Pierre.

Right now, doctors offer patients seeking an abortion the option to view a sonogram or listen to a heartbeat if one is present. If Senate Bill Six passes, these both would be a requirement.

“These are laws that are effective in lowering the abortion rate and protecting unborn babies because pregnant mothers are able to receive factual, scientific information,” said Republican State Senator Stace Nelson.

Nelson calls this ”women’s right to know” legislation.

“For example, I had surgery several years ago where they operated on my foot, and before they did that, they did extensive imaging of it and they showed it to me and they explained to me what the surgery was going to entail,” said Nelson.

This Planned Parenthood in Sioux Falls is the only place in the entire state that provides abortions where the pregnancy is not putting the mother’s life in jeopardy. There aren’t any doctors that perform abortions in South Dakota either, so Planned Parenthood has to fly them in from minnesota.

Planned Parenthood opposes the bill, saying that the patient should choose whether or not they want to see a sonogram or hear a heartbeat.

“This bill just continues to demean women’s right to choose their own medical care,” said Kristin Hayward, the Manager of Advocacy and Development for Planned Parenthood in South Dakota.

If passed, Nelson says this protocol would also apply to rape victims seeking an abortion.

“The child is not guilty of the rape and for the woman to be able to have the information that that is in fact not a lump of tissue but an unborn child, is clearly relevant,” said Nelson.

“Our clinic treats every woman just as important as the next, so no matter how that child was conceived, they deserve the very best healthcare and they deserve the best healthcare decisions for themselves,” said Hayward.

11 out the 16 authors of the bill are men, while five are women.

The state legislature will start discussing the bill sometime within the next few weeks. Planned Parenthood is sending lobbyists and advocates to Pierre to challenge the bill. Neighboring Iowa currently has the strictest abortion laws in the country.

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