South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R) signed a law last week mandating women must wait three days after meeting with a doctor to have an abortion, the country’s longest waiting period. About half of all states have a 24-hour waiting period.
The law also requires women to attend counseling at pregnancy centers that will inform them about the benefits of not aborting. The goal of the law is to make women wait so they can contemplate their decision after receiving information from the doctor. Specifically, Gov. Daugaard says “everyone agrees with the goal of reducing abortion by encouraging consideration of other alternatives.” Basically, the law is to deter women from aborting.
Planned Parenthood and the ACLU of South Dakota have said they will immediately file a lawsuit against the law to challenge its constitutionality. Opponents of the law say the three-day waiting period is paternalistic and assumes that a woman has not already weighed her options before consulting with the doctor.