South Dakota Law Will Require Three-Day Wait, Counseling Before Abortions

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South Dakota Law Will Require Three-Day Wait, Counseling Before AbortionsSouth Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard has signed a bill that will require women to wait three days and receive counseling before having an abortion.

The legislation, which was signed by Daugaard on March 22, is slated to take effect on July 1. Pregnant women who want an abortion will have to wait 72 hours following a physician assessment, which will be the longest delay anywhere in the United States. In addition, patients will be required to get counseling at a "pregnancy help center" before the procedure, CNN reported.

Supporters of the law said it will help ensure that abortions are voluntary, uncoerced and informed.

"I think everyone agrees with the goal of reducing abortion by encouraging consideration of other alternatives," said Daugaard, quoted by the media outlet. "I hope that women who are considering an abortion will use this three-day period to make good choices."

According to the Guttmacher Institute, a total of 34 States require that women receive counseling before an abortion, and 25 of those States require women to wait a specified period of time, usually 24 hours, between counseling and the procedure.

Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides abortions, said that it will file a lawsuit in an attempt to stop the measure, Reuters reported. Sarah Stoesz, the CEO and president of the organization's Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota locations, called the bill an "egregious violation of the Constitution" that interferes with a woman's right to receive the medical procedure. 

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