South Dakota House approves measure that would require longer waiting period for abortions

The Associated Press
Associated Press

PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota House has approved a bill that could require women seeking abortions to wait longer after first seeing a doctor at an abortion clinic.

The House voted 56-13 to pass a measure that says Saturdays, Sundays and holidays could not count in calculating the three-day wait. The bill next goes to the Senate.

Supporters say the measure is needed to give pregnant women time to reflect and seek counselling to make sure they have not been pressured into getting an abortion. Opponents say it would be an undue burden on a woman's constitutional right to get an abortion.

A 2011 law requires women to wait three days and get counselling at pregnancy help centres that discourage abortions. The counselling requirement is still being challenged in court.