During what one pro-life advocate called “a great week in South Dakota for unborn children,” a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Sioux Falls, South Dakota has apparently closed. The abortion provider on the other hand, disputes the alleged closure.
Local pro-lifers believe that the clinic has closed its doors because it refuses to comply with a state informed consent law upheld by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals last month.
The South Dakota law requires any physician who performs an abortion to obtain “voluntary and informed written consent” from a woman seeking an abortion, except in cases of medical emergency. The woman must also be provided with information about the health risks and legal consequences of the procedure.
The information the woman must be provided includes the knowledge “that the abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being." She must also be told that she "has an existing relationship with that unborn human being and that the relationship enjoys protection under the United States Constitution and under the laws of South Dakota.” Further, she must be informed “that by having an abortion, her existing relationship and her existing constitutional rights with regards to that relationship will be terminated.”
The state law went into effect on Saturday after an attempted injunction filed by Planned Parenthood was rejected on July 17. A spokesman for pro-life protest groups outside the Sioux Falls Planned Parenthood location said that even though women who had apparently scheduled appointments appeared at the clinic, no abortionists arrived.
“I think Planned Parenthood cannot figure out a way not to comply with the law," said Dr. Allan Unruh, a leader in the state’s Vote Yes for Life campaign, WorldNetDaily reports.
We don't know if they will open again," he said. "Personally, I don't think they are going to find any abortionists who want to take the risk of losing their license."
Leslee Unruh, the Founder of the Alpha Center Pregnancy Center in Sioux Falls, on Thursday told CNA that the abortion clinic continues to be closed. She noted that pro-life counselors have talked with several of the clinic clients scheduled to have abortions this week.
“One for sure has changed her mind and is going to have the child,” said Unruh, who has advocated on behalf of the informed consent legislation.
“It’s historical, it’s wonderful what is happening. We’re hoping the other states will follow our lead and put the same laws in through their legislatures that can also shut down abortion clinics this way,” she continued. “It’s a great week in South Dakota for unborn children.”
However, Kathi Di Nicola, a Planned Parenthood spokesperson based out of Minnesota, flatly denied that the clinic was closed.
“That is absolutely false. We are open and committed to providing for women’s health services in South Dakota,” she said.
When asked whether abortion services were still being provided at the Souix Falls clinic, Di Nicola responded that they were.