Now that their controversial "First thing we'll do is kill all the abortion providers" bill has been shelved indefinitely, South Dakota lawmakers are back doing what they do best: making it just as hard as possible for women to exercise, or even have, reproductive rights, because, in the eyes of said lawmakers, women are chattel.
The new means of restricting these rights come in the form of House Bill 1217, which erects an obstacle course of consultations and delays that women must endure before receiving such legal medical procedure.
First, she has to meet with a doctor. "No surgical or medical abortion may be scheduled except by a licensed physician and only after the physician physically and personally meets with the pregnant mother, consults with her, and performs an assessment of her medical and personal circumstances," the bill says. In this consultation, the doctor must determine whether the woman has been under "coercion, subtle or otherwise," when deciding to get an abortion.
The woman would then have to set up an appointment at a "pregnancy help center," that offers counseling on what "education, counseling, and other assistance" she can get if she chooses to have the baby, as well as any "risk factors" that might be associated with an abortion. These centers could not perform abortions at their facilities, have an affiliation with a group or doctor who performs abortions, or ever refer pregnant women for abortions.
Once she completes these steps, a woman can sign a consent form and schedule her appointment for 72 hours later, assuming the doctor makes an "an independent determination" that the decision is "voluntary, uncoerced, and informed."
As State Representative Roger Hunt, who introduced this bill, mansplains, it's vital to force women to have 72 hours to tame their tempestuous, impulsive lady-brains so that they can "reflect on what choice she makes." As you may have heard, most women just rush into these decisions willy-nilly!
Now, if you're looking at this new law, you're probably wondering if jumping through all of these hoops is an easy thing to do if you are of modest means and can't be taking all this time off work to have pointless consultations, considering the fact that you're already probably having to travel a long distance to see one of the state's few abortion providers ("In 2008, 98% of South Dakota counties had no abortion provider. 76% of South Dakota women lived in these counties."). That's essentially the point of such laws. In America, the last women to lose their reproductive freedoms will be the wealthy ones.
Meanwhile, to the best of my knowledge, state governments do not impose these sorts of burdens upon men who wish to continue spraying their baby-batter hither and yon well into their dotage, but who require a tub of pharmaceutical-grade boner pills to do so.
South Dakota Bill Would Require Women To Get Pre-Abortion Counseling [TPMDC]
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