(From FotF’s Pastor’s Weekly Briefing)

Those on both sides of the abortion debate agree that South Dakota has become one of the hardest states in the country in which to obtain an abortion. One of three states to have only one abortion provider — North Dakota and Mississippi are the others — South Dakota, largely because of a strong anti-abortion lobby, is also becoming a leading national laboratory for testing the limits of state laws restricting abortion.

No doctor in South Dakota will perform an abortion, as of about eight years ago. The consensus in the medical community is that offering the procedure is not worth the stigma of being branded a baby killer. Four doctors from Minneapolis take turns once a week coming to the one facility in the state that still provides abortions.

In 2005, South Dakota passed five laws restricting abortion. A report by a 17-member task force states that science defines life as beginning at conception and recommends a law that will give fetuses the same protection that children get at birth. Until such a law is added to the books, the task force recommends a requirement that a woman seeking an abortion watch an ultrasound of her fetus, that doctors warn women about the psychological and physical dangers of abortion, and that women receive psychological counseling before the abortion, among other measures.

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