S.D. Gov Signs 3-Day Abortion Wait into Law

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Gov. Dennis Daugaard, R-S.D., has signed a law requiring women to wait three days before having an abortion, which is the longest waiting period in America.

The law also requires women to undergo counseling at a pregnancy help center that discourages abortion.

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

Opponents plan to file a lawsuit challenging the measure.

"The 72-hour waiting period coupled with having to go to a crisis pregnancy center whose very mission is to dissuade women from going through with an abortion has grave constitutional concerns for us," says Kathi Di Nicola, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota.

Yet, pro-life supporters believe that the new law is a sensible choice.

"This bill would ensure that the woman would be able to have access to both sides of the story, and will have access to some personal support as opposed to somebody just pressuring her to get an abortion," says Roger Hunt, a South Dakota lawmaker and the bill's main sponsor. "It seems to me that spending a little time talking to somebody and waiting 72 hours is nothing unreasonable."

Daugaard promised to defend the new law in court and even has a private sponsor to pay the state's legal fees.

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