Three day cooling off period for abortions in US state

Pregnant women seeking to abort their babies in the US state of South Dakota will soon have a 72-hour cooling off period before they can undergo the procedure.

The three day waiting period, the longest of any state in the US, was included in legislation signed into law earlier this week by Governor Dennis Daugaard.

The new legislation, which is currently scheduled to come into force on 1 July, will also require women seeking abortions to receive counselling at a “pregnancy help centre”.


Gov Daugaard welcomed the new law saying: “I think everyone agrees with the goal of reducing abortion by encouraging consideration of other alternatives”.

“I hope that women who are considering an abortion will use this three-day period to make good choices.”

However, the pro-abortion American Civil Liberties Union and a regional office of abortion provider Planned Parenthood said they will file a lawsuit to stop the law.


Prior to this week’s Bill being signed into law, South Dakota already had firm laws protecting the life of the unborn.

There is currently a 24-hour waiting period for abortions, and all women seeking an abortion must be told that the procedure “will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique living human being.”

There is currently only one abortion clinic in the state.


Pro-lifers in the US are calling for Planned Parenthood to be stripped of hundreds of millions of dollars of federal funding.

Planned Parenthood is already barred from using taxpayers’ money to perform most abortions, but the group still recieves more than $360 million in federal funding for its other services.

In 2009 the director of an abortion clinic in Texas quit her job after watching ultrasound footage of an abortion – and joined a pro-life group which were protesting outside the facility.

Breaking point

Abby Johnson spent eight years working at the Planned Parenthood centre in Bryan, Texas, two of them as director.

Miss Johnson said her growing disillusionment with the pro-abortion movement reached “breaking point” when she watched an ultrasound of an abortion taking place.

She said: “Finally what happened one day was I actually was in the room when a different type of abortion procedure was being done. And that day I just thought, I can’t do this anymore”.

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