By Dave Andrusko
It was an early Christmas present. Last Friday, Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota said that it was dropping the appeal of that part of a 2011 South Dakota law which requires a three-day waiting period after a woman meets with an abortionist.
However Sarah Stoesz, the president of Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota, is keeping her powder dry.
She told the Associated Press (AP) that they had filed a motion to dismiss that part of their lawsuit “without prejudice,” meaning, if granted, they would be in a position to attack that provision of the law again at some future date. As NRL News Today has previously reported, the 72-hour wait had been blocked while Planned Parenthood attacked the provision in court.
“This was not an easy decision for us to make by any means. We believe that this law is wrong and that it is disrespectful to women and it is completely unnecessary and for a host of reasons is ill-conceived,” said Stoesz. As to why, Stoesz said she “did not feel confident that the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals would have sided with them on the provision, saying the court has ‘ruled against women’s interests time after time,’” the AP’s Kristi Eaton reported. “Instead, she said the group will continue to focus on fighting the counseling provision.”
This is an allusion to a second provision of the law (H.B. 1217) that requires women to consult with a pregnancy help center in the interim.
The third prong of the law was upheld last June by U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier, who is notorious hostile to pro-life initiatives. “That provision requires doctors who perform abortions to first assess women to determine if they have been coerced into getting abortions,” according to Eaton.
The back and forth over H.B. 1217 is to be distinguished from the even longer fight over South Dakotas 2005 informed consent law (H.B. 1166). As reported here (www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/news/2012/07/appeals-court-upholds-final-portion-of-2005-south-dakota-law/#more-16162), this prior law has been fully vindicated by the courts.
Last July, the full 8th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that portion of H.B. 1166 which requires abortionists to advise women seeking abortions that they face an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and suicide. Other parts of the 2005 informed consent law had already survived Planned Parenthood challenges.
The 8th Circuit upheld the provision of H.B. 1166 that abortion-seeking women must be informed they have a legally protected “existing relationship” with their unborn child and that the unborn child is a separate human being.