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Women Seeking Abortions in South Dakota Will Have to Visit ‘Pregnancy Help Centers’

Posted Mar 23, 2011 7:00 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A first-of-its-kind law signed Tuesday by South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard requires women seeking abortions to get counseling first.

Women will have to go to “pregnancy help centers” where they will learn about assistance available should they decide to give birth, the New York Times reports. The law also requires a three-day waiting period for abortions, except in cases of emergencies.

“What makes the new South Dakota law different,” the Times says, “is that the mandated counseling will come from people whose central qualification is that they are opposed to abortion.” The required three-day wait is also the longest in the nation.

Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union plan a legal challenge, the Argus Leader reports.

The South Dakota bill was among anti-abortion legislation introduced in more than half the states after Republican successes in mid-term elections, the Times says. Other bills restrict health insurance coverage for abortions, require ultrasounds and ban abortions after 20 weeks.

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