By Claire, Communications Intern
Planned Parenthood and pro-choice organizations in South Dakota actually have something to celebrate this weekend. Chief Judge Karen Schreier has ruled South Dakota’s new abortion restrictions to be a violation of the 14th amendment and an undue burden on women.
This new law would have required a 72-hour waiting period and mandatory counseling at a crisis pregnancy center. Chief Judge Schreier believes that the mandatory counseling with a non-medical third-party is a violation of women’s freedom of speech. After all they would be forced to discuss their options with a vehemently anti-abortion organization. She also cites this as an undue burden women who are victims of reproductive coercion as they would have to hide two appointments from their abusive partners.
It should be noted that the whole defense for the 72-hour waiting period and counseling is to make sure a woman is not being forced to have an abortion. It seems ridiculous that these legislators should only be concerned with the well-being of some women and not the well-being of all women.
I, for one, am very grateful that Chief Judge Schreier is intelligent enough to see what anti-choice legislators are doing in South Dakota. She has made it clear that she understands what women really need from their government and that it is not a paternalistic law that aims to enforce arbitrary morality onto women regardless of their own opinions or circumstance.
We can only hope that this will be the start of the turning tide back to reason and rationality in the legal abortion debate.