Planned Parenthood criticizes bill that would require more counseling before having an abortion

PIERRE, S.D. - One of the sponsors of SB 110 is Senator Al Novstrup. He said the basic idea of this bill is to require women to consider more counseling before making the decision to have an abortion. Senator Novstrup said an agency like Planned Parenthood doesn't give adequate counseling.

So he suggests in this bill that women go to a pregnancy care center inside the Alpha Center to sign off whether or not they want counseling before getting the procedure. The Alpha Center is a non-profit in Sioux Falls that said their goal is to provide positive alternatives with practical support.

Planned Parenthood communications director Jen Aulwes said the organization offers a thorough consent process. She said this bill is about forcing women to go to a center to dissuade them from having an abortion.

"We want them to walk in to a pregnancy care center, which is two miles away from Planned Parenthood and have that organization called the Alpha Center sign a document saying they've been there," said Senator Novstrup. "We're not forcing the women to do anything other than make a decision 'Do you want counseling or don't you?'"

"That first visit happens over the course of that first day and then a woman waits 72 hours because of South Dakota's law before she can actually have her procedure," said Aulwes. "So the idea that women aren't being given enough time to make a decision is absurd."

Aulwes also said the bill implies that Planned Parenthood is not in compliance with the law in South Dakota and that just isn't true.

SB 110 has passed through the senate and is schedule to be heard by a house committee Tuesday. It will have to be passed by that committee and voted through on the house floor before making it to the Governor's desk to be signed.