Legislators acting on behalf of South Dakota delivered a resolution to the Supreme Court Tuesday that calls for the overturn of Roe v. Wade in order to protect women’s rights.
The resolution, which lists the grievances of the state with Roe v. Wade, sailed through the South Dakota legislature with the support of 86 percent of the state’s representatives and 74 percent of the state’s senators.
“We cannot protect our citizens properly and to the extent they deserve to be protected because of Roe v. Wade,” Rep. Lynne DiSanto told The Daily Caller News Foundation. (RELATED: Report Finds Planned Parenthood Failed To Report Rape In SEVEN States)
“We all take an oath,” Rep. Roger Hunt told TheDCNF. “First thing we do when we get sworn in, we swear to uphold the Constitution, which says very basically — protect the rights of our people. And so that to me is a very strong argument for telling the Supreme Court to reevaluate Roe v Wade.”
DiSanto, Hunt and Rep. Kris Langer personally delivered the concurrent resolution to the Supreme Court.
“We find that Roe v. Wade and its progeny promote and protect the deprivation of numerous intrinsic rights and interests of the pregnant mothers themselves,” the resolution states. “The people of our State have an interest in protecting each of these rights and interests.”
Those rights and interests outlined by the resolution include a right to her relationship with her child, an interest in her own health and an interest in her dignity as a mother.
Roe v. Wade was a mistake, the resolution argues, because it wrongly assumed women’s consent for abortion would be informed and voluntary, and that it would happen in the context of a normal doctor-patient relationship.
“The Court ignored this right [of a mother to sustain her child] and ignored the enormous loss to the mother which abortion inflicts,” the resolution states. “The Court’s decision treats abortion only as a benefit to the woman, and assumes she loses nothing of value to her.”
The resolution points to new evidence pregnant women are often coerced — sometimes violently — into having an abortion they don’t want to have by their families, male partners, and abortionists whose personal convictions and financial interests conflict with theirs.
“The Court assumed that abortion was a very safe procedure,” it states. “This assumption has proven to be false. It possesses many dangers to the health and life of the mother, including increased risk of suicide ideation and suicide.”
The resolution lists physical harm, especially from male partners, increased risk of suicide, a lack of a healthy doctor-patient relationship and exploitative abortion centers as threats to pregnant women that derive from Roe v. Wade.
“We’ve had 40 years of a social experiment of abortion,” DiSanto told TheDCNF. “And now we have the stories. We have the evidence. And based on those stories and evidence, it’s time for us to be able to do something and move ahead.”
Leslee Unruh, who runs a crisis pregnancy center and traveled with the delegation, told TheDCNF a woman she counseled committed suicide this week after being pressured into having an abortion she didn’t want to have. She left a suicide note indicating she wanted to be with her unborn baby.
“Will the doctor [who performed that procedure] even know?” Unruh asked.
South Dakota is fighting an ongoing legal battle with Planned Parenthood over two anti-abortion laws passed in the last decade — a 2005 informed consent law and a 2011 anti-coercion law. (RELATED: Key Takeaways From The First Nine Planned Parenthood Videos)
The consent law requires doctors to inform women intending to have an abortion of a number of realities, including the exact nature of the fetus at the time of the abortion and health risks, such as increased risk of suicide. Planned Parenthood sued over the law, but lost that battle in 2012 when it was upheld by a federal appeals court.
Depositions of doctors and educators during the legal fight over the informed consent law inspired the second law, which was aimed at establishing a normal doctor-patient relationship, Harold Cassidy, a lawyer representing South Dakota, told TheDCNF.
“A doctor would fly in from another state in the morning, they’d line up abortions. The doctor would do abortions through the day, and go home at night,” Cassidy told TheDCNF. “Never see the woman again.”
“The doctor would see the woman for a total of 7-10 minutes. Total.”
The second law stipulates a doctor intending to perform an abortion must personally meet with the woman a minimum of 72 hours before scheduling the procedure to consult with her and assess whether she’s being coerced. The woman also must receive counseling from an approved crisis pregnancy center before the procedure.
Planned Parenthood sued South Dakota again over this law. The jury is still out on the third party consent aspect of the law, but the court has so far upheld the rest of the law.