Court upholds SD mother-fetus relationship law
Schreier found the wording misleading because she said a relationship, in the eyes of the law, can only exist between people and the Supreme Court has ruled that the unborn are not legally considered people.
The appeals court disagreed with Schreier’s reasoning, agreeing with the state’s argument that doctors would be providing patients with valid legal advice - that they can’t be compelled to have an abortion - allowing patients to make more informed decisions.
The court upheld Schreier’s decision to overturn another aspect of the law that would have required doctors to tell patients that people who have abortions are more likely to commit suicide.
Both the state and Planned Parenthood, which challenged the law, praised Friday’s ruling.
Mimi Liu, an attorney for Planned Parenthood, said the group believes the court has ruled that doctors must only inform patients of that one sentence written in the appeals court’s decision.
“We think this decision can be read to say that is all that is required,” she said.
South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley said the decision will affect a separate lawsuit brought by Planned Parenthood seeking to overturn a state law passed this year. That law, which has not taken effect because of the legal challenge, would require women to wait three days before they could have an abortion - the longest wait of any state - and submit to counseling at one of several centers that seek to dissuade women from terminating their pregnancies.
“This decision will provide further guidance and direction with respect to Planned Parenthood’s challenge to recent legislation which establishes procedures to ensure that abortion decisions are voluntary and un-coerced,” Jackley said.
Liu said she believes both lawsuits are relevant to each other.