Several pro-life laws take effect in South Dakota

Pregnant woman Credit Unsplash CNA Unsplash.

Five pro-life laws went into effect in South Dakota on Thursday.

As of July 1, it is no longer legal to abort a child due to a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome, and it will no longer be legal to require a surrogate to abort a child as part of her surrogacy contract. 

SB 183, “An Act to declare certain contract provisions regarding abortion as deceptive acts or practices,” was introduced by state Sen. Lee Schoenbeck (R-05), the president pro tempore of the South Dakota Senate, and Rep. Jon Hansen (R-25), the speaker pro tempore of the House of Representatives. 

The legislation makes it illegal to write a contract that “Include(s) a provision in a contract that, under any circumstances, requires a woman to have an abortion, or is intended to compel a woman to have an abortion.”

The law also makes a contract which coerces or compels a woman to have an abortion; punishes her for not having an abortion; or forces a woman to pay for a child she did not abort “void and unenforceable.” 

Further, as of July 1, doctors in South Dakota will be required to provide appropriate medical care to a child who is born alive following an attempted abortion, and doctors must inform women seeking a medical abortion that it is possible to attempt to reverse the effects of the first abortion drug in a two-drug regimen.

Additionally, an updated definition of “abortion” in South Dakota is now law. This new definition states that abortion is the “intentional termination of the life of a human being in the uterus.” 

The previous definition in South Dakota law stated that abortion was “the use of any means to intentionally terminate the pregnancy of a woman known to be pregnant with knowledge that the termination with those means will, with reasonable likelihood, cause the death of the fetus.”

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