The legal wrangling over South Dakota’s informed consent law hasbeen both bizarre and revealing. At core, it’s a battle between thepowerful abortion movement which operates under the mantle of ‘choice’,and the pro-life movement which is working mightily to give womenenough information to make an informed choice.

When South Dakota legislators passed a law requiring abortionproviders to inform women that they are carrying not a blob of tissue,but an already existing human being, among other highly relevant factsand the possiblerisks ass ociated with the procedure. PlannedParenthood got an injunction to prevent that law’s enactment byconvincing judge Karen Schreier that such disclosure violates theabortionists’ rights of free speech. Schreier decided that outweighedthe women’s right to information.

That dragged out in appeals, and in June 2008 the full 8th Circuitcourt ruled that the informed consent requirement did not constituteideological language (as Planned Parenthood contended) but biologicalfact, and therefore should be upheld as law and provided to women inabortion clinics. It wasn’t. Planned Parenthood ignored the ruling andcontinued business as usual.

Finally, Judge Schreier upheld the provision for informed consent. At least…some of it.

In an August 20 decision, Judge Karen Schreier of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota, Southern Division, upheld the law’s provision that the doctor must inform a woman that the abortion will “terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.”

However, according to the Alliance Defense Fund, she overturned the law’s provision requiring the woman to be informed of her existing relationship with the unborn child and that an “increased risk of suicide ideation and suicide” is a “known medical risk” of abortion…

ADF Senior Legal Counsel Steven H. Aden commented on the court ruling, saying “A woman’s life is worth more than Planned Parenthood’s bottom line, so we’re pleased the abortion industry failed in its attempt to strike down this law.”

“We agree with the decision of the court to allow South Dakota women to be informed of the indisputable fact that her baby is a human being.

“We find it incredible, however, for the court to determine that the law cannot acknowledge that a ‘pregnant woman has an existing relationship with that unborn human being’ because some human beings are somehow not ‘persons.’

“The court ruled that a woman has more of a relationship with the abortionist than her preborn baby.  All human beings are persons,” Aden said in a press release.

This is destined for the Supreme Court.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....