South Dakota–not exactly the state you want to get caught with an unwanted pregnancy–has spent the last few years making access to abortion the most taxing and violating experience ever. Last year a court found that giving women the false and unproven information that within 24 hours of an abortion she has a higher risk of suicide impedes on a doctors effectiveness to do their jobs. Doctors should generally tell us things that are medically proven. The relationship between mental distress and abortion has little to no evidence supporting it. So, it’s safe to conclude, giving medically false information to your patients makes your job difficult, if not impossible to do effectively.
But South Dakota 8th Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed and found that it is still possible for them to do their jobs. I mean, they figure–we do our jobs with vast amounts of misinformation and retrograde ideas about women–you can too.
The panel, which had upheld much of the law that set out what a pregnant woman should be told 24 hours before undergoing an abortion, had said a link between abortion and suicide was unproven and may not exist. South Dakota’s governor and attorney general and two crisis pregnancy centers appealed.
The appeals court ruled on Tuesday that conclusive proof of a causation was not required and the suicide advisory was not misleading and was relevant to the patient’s decision.
“Today’s decision supports the Legislature’s goal of encouraging women seeking an abortion to make informed and voluntary decisions,” South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley said in a statement.
Planned Parenthood, the only abortion provider in South Dakota, was “extremely disappointed” by Tuesday’s ruling, said Sarah Stoesz, president of Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota.
“This ruling by the 8th Circuit Court represents the greatest intrusion by the government into the patient-doctor relationship to date,” Stoesz said in a statement.
Tack this on to the variety of restrictions that South Dakota has added to abortion law including parental notification, 72 hour waiting period and having to visit a consouling center and South Dakota is at the top of the list for the shittiest places to be a person with a uterus!