South Dakota federal judge blocks abortion law in wake of Kansas controversy

Published: Friday, July 1 2011 1:02 p.m. MDT

Recent abortion battles are not in Kansas anymore.

A federal judge blocked a new South Dakota abortion law requiring women to go through a 72-hour waiting period and a meeting at an anti-abortion clinic before having a procedure. The law also requires a doctor to warn the pregnant woman of potential complications of an abortion and certify that she wasn't coerced into a decision, according to Reuters.

"This law represents a blatant intrusion by politicians into difficult decisions women and families sometimes need to make," Sarah Stoesz, president and chief executive of Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, told Reuters.

South Dakota officials are now calculating their next move after the judge's decision Thursday to halt the law.

"At this point, I need to fully read the decision and discuss it with the attorneys involved in the case, the governor and legislative leadership," South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley told Fox News. He also said the state must decide whether to appeal, argue the merits of the case, discuss a settlement or do nothing.

The federal ruling comes in the wake of controversy in Kansas after two abortion clinics went out of business. The two providers claim they went under due to the tough new licensing requirements the state passed. Pro-choice advocates believe this is an attack on a woman's rights, while others argue the requirements protect the health of women or a potential life, according to TIME.

Despite the allegedly tough regulations, Kansas issued a license to Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, debunking speculation that the licensing requirements would make it the only state without an abortion provider, according to The New York Times.

EMAIL: jferguson@desnews.com

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