In South Dakota, Abortion Fight Goes On The state already has among the most restrictive abortion laws in the country. And this week, a new law requiring a 72-hour waiting period took it even further. The law is likely to be challenged in court, and both sides say they'll continue their fight.
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In South Dakota, Abortion Fight Goes On

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In South Dakota, Abortion Fight Goes On

In South Dakota, Abortion Fight Goes On

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MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

South Dakota Public Broadcasting's Cara Hetland reports that this law, as with so many other abortion restrictions before it, came from one man.

CARA HETLAND: Still, State Representative Roger Hunt says there are too many abortions being performed here. He says his mission is drafting legislation to further restrict abortions.

ROGER HUNT: Twenty- three...

HETLAND: Hunt flips through the South Dakota codified law book to the section dealing with abortion.

HUNT: 34-23A...

HETLAND: There are 36 pages in all with laws that define life as beginning with conception and those requiring parental consent of a minor. Roger Hunt doesn't consider these laws restrictive enough.

HUNT: It's the matter of the woman's legal, constitutional and moral right to have a relationship with her child, and that the interference and termination of that relationship when you're terminating a legal right - constitutional right, et cetera - cannot be done. That's an issue that U.S. Supreme Court has never, never addressed.

SARAH STOESZ: Calling this law protective is supremely cynical. This law is nothing but coercive.

HETLAND: Sarah Stoesz heads the local chapter of Planned Parenthood here. She says this latest law requiring a longer waiting period and more counseling puts an undue burden on women in a vast state like South Dakota.

STOESZ: Women already drive great distances. The logistical and financial hardships that are imposed on women under the terms of this 72-hour wait are cruel and unnecessary and intolerable and, I think, unethical.

HETLAND: Stoesz says across the country, state legislatures with newly elected Republican majorities are also proposing more restrictive abortion laws.

STOESZ: I cannot believe that what they are doing reflects the will of the people. And if they believed that what they are doing reflects the will of the people, they would have been much more transparent and open when they ran for office and, in fact, they weren't.

HETLAND: For NPR News, I'm Cara Hetland in Sioux Falls.

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