South Dakota Passes Law to Require 'Counseling' for Women Seeking Abortions
Just because the South Dakota legislature has shelved the bill to legalize murdering abortion doctors doesn't mean the forced birthers haven't stopped dreaming up ever more draconian ways to deprive women of their already nearly non-existent access to reproductive health care.
On Tuesday, the legislature passed HB 1217:
(3) Provide the pregnant mother with the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all pregnancy help centers that are registered with the South Dakota Department of Health pursuant to this Act, and provide her with written instructions that set forth the following:
(a) That prior to the day of any scheduled abortion the pregnant mother must have a consultation at a pregnancy help center at which the pregnancy help center shall inform her about what education, counseling, and other assistance is available to help the pregnant mother keep and care for her child, and have a private interview to discuss her circumstances that may subject her decision to coercion;
(b) That prior to signing a consent to an abortion, the physician shall first obtain from the pregnant mother, a written statement that she obtained a consultation with a pregnancy help center, which sets forth the name and address of the pregnancy help center, the date and time of the consultation, and the name of the counselor at the pregnancy help center with whom she consulted;
What does this mean? If the bill passes, it will no longer be sufficient for women to be counseled by their doctors prior to having an abortion. They will also have to receive counseling from a state-approved pregnancy help center (also known as pregnancy crisis centers), which means more false and misleading information and more state-mandated guilt tripping. Let's review:
Crisis pregnancy centers are but one tactic used by the forced birth movement to deprive women of access to real reproductive health care and information. Such centers have repeatedly been found to give women false medical information for the explicit purpose of preventing them from obtaining, or even learning about, abortions.
A 2006 Congressional report, False and Misleading Health Information Provided by Federally Funded Pregnancy Resource Centers, concluded:Pregnant teenagers and women turn to federally funded pregnancy resource centers for advice and counseling at a difficult time in their lives. These centers, however, frequently fail to provide medically accurate information. The vast majority of pregnancy centers contacted in this investigation misrepresented the medical consequences of abortion, often grossly exaggerating the risks. This tactic may be effective in frightening pregnant teenagers and women and discouraging abortion. But it denies the teenagers and women vital health information, prevents them from making an informed decision, and is not an accepted public health practice.
In fact, these centers are usually staffed not by medical professionals, but by volunteer forced birthers who gladly lie to women about so-called medical risks of abortion in order to deter them from exercising their right to obtain a legal medical procedure.
South Dakota already requires doctors to inform their patients of the following:
(a) The name of the physician who will perform the abortion;
(b) That the abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being;
(c) That the pregnant woman has an existing relationship with that unborn human being and that the relationship enjoys protection under the United States Constitution and under the laws of South Dakota;
(d) That by having an abortion, her existing relationship and her existing constitutional rights with regards to that relationship will be terminated;
(e) A description of all known medical risks of the procedure and statistically significant risk factors to which the pregnant woman would be subjected, including:
(i) Depression and related psychological distress;
(ii) Increased risk of suicide ideation and suicide;
(iii) A statement setting forth an accurate rate of deaths due to abortions, including all deaths in which the abortion procedure was a substantial contributing factor;
(iv) All other known medical risks to the physical health of the woman, including the risk of infection, hemorrhage, danger to subsequent pregnancies, and infertility;
(f) The probable gestational age of the unborn child at the time the abortion is to be performed, and a scientifically accurate statement describing the development of the unborn child at that age; and
(g) The statistically significant medical risks associated with carrying her child to term compared to undergoing an induced abortion.
Most of what doctors are now required to tell their patients is demonstrably false. The rest of it serves no medical purpose; the point is for doctors to make women feel really, really bad about having an abortion. It's state-mandated guilt-tripping, under the guise of "informed consent."
But for the forced birthers in South Dakota, this requirement is insufficient in deterring women from exercising their legal right to reproductive health care. They need new, better ways to persuade women not to obtain a legal medical procedure. More hoops to jump through, more obstacles, more false information and guilt trips. So now the women of South Dakota will be required to go to a center where they will be provided false information intended to scare them out of exercising their legal rights.
And here's a list of all the other legal medical procedures for which patients are required to obtain non-medical counseling to discourage them from obtaining said legal procedure:
The warriors in the war on women insist they are acting out of concern for women. They say they just want to ensure women can make an informed choice. But the truth is, they don't want women to have a choice at all.