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S.D. abortion law’s relationship section upheld comment (0)

September 15, 2011


ST. LOUIS — A pregnant woman considering abortion in South Dakota must be informed she “has an existing relationship with that unborn human being,” a federal appeals court has ruled.

In its opinion, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis overturned a federal judge’s decision that had struck down the “relationship advisories” section of South Dakota’s 2005 informed consent law. The law’s supporters, however, fell short of a complete victory in the opinion by the three-judge panel. In a 2–1 split decision, the judges upheld the lower court’s invalidation of a section requiring women to be informed of the risk of suicide from abortion. The dissenting judge said he would have upheld the entire law, including that requirement.

The 8th Circuit’s Sept. 2 ruling in support of a state’s right to inform a woman she has a relationship with the child living in her womb was a victory for pro-life advocates not only in providing full information for pregnant women but also in establishing protection for unborn children.

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