Since 1994, there have been no [abortion] providers in the state. Planned Parenthood flies a doctor in from out-of-state once a week to see patients at a Sioux Falls clinic. Women from the more remote parts of the large, rural state drive up to six hours to reach this lone clinic. And under state law women are then required to receive counseling and wait 24 hours before undergoing the procedure.
Before performing an abortion, a South Dakota doctor must offer the woman the opportunity to view a sonogram. And under a law passed in 2005, doctors are required to read a script meant to discourage women from proceeding with the abortion: "The abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being." Until recently, doctors also had to tell a woman seeking an abortion that she had "an existing relationship with that unborn human being" that was protected under the Constitution and state law and that abortion poses a "known medical risk" and "increased risk of suicide ideation and suicide." In August 2009, a US District Court Judge threw out those portions of the script, finding them "untruthful and misleading." The state has appealed the decision.So abortion is legal, but so inaccessible that it might be impossible for some. I hadn't realized that could be the case, so I found the report very disturbing.
Speaking of Planned Parenthood, the House of Representatives wants to block their federal aid. It will probably fail in the Senate, so "thanks" for wasting everyone's time. This bill is absurd to me, because Planned Parenthood doesn't just provide abortions (which, as we've noted, are not illegal). They provide birth control, STD/HIV testing, and perhaps most importantly, information. While I may be indifferent about sex, I am NOT indifferent about reproductive rights and sex education. If that education is withheld, people won't suddenly become celibate, which seems to be a common misconception held by Republican politicians. While I'm asexual, I feel like I understand the nature of sexuality better than these presumably sexual politicians do. People will still have sex, they'll always have sex. Without good information, they'll just be less likely to make safe choices.