Legislative panel approves potential prohibition of abortion procedure

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PIERRE A House committee has approved legislation that could ban a surgical abortion procedure that Planned Parenthood says doesn't occur in South Dakota.

The bill's sponsor, Republican Rep. Isaac Latterell, told the Health and Human Services Committee on Tuesday that a later-term abortion procedure could involve separating the skull from the spine. He says his legislation bans that practice, which he says may be part of "dilation and evacuation" abortions.

Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Jennifer Aulwes says the language is medically inaccurate and inflammatory.

She says South Dakota's sole abortion clinic, in Sioux Falls, doesn't perform abortions after a pregnancy hits 14 weeks. Planned Parenthood's website says dilation and evacuation typically occurs after 16 weeks.

The Guttmacher Institute, a research organization supporting abortion access, says state law limits abortions after 24 weeks.

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