January 3, 2013 — Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota on Dec. 21 dropped its appeal of a South Dakota provision that requires a woman to wait 72 hours before obtaining an abortion, the AP/Washington Post reports (Eaton, AP/Washington Post, 12/21).
The provision is part of a law (HB 1217) that also requires women to receive counseling at antiabortion crisis pregnancy centers during the waiting period and requires physicians to ask women a series of questions to determine whether they are seeking an abortion voluntarily, have mental health problems or have religious objections (Women's Health Policy Report, 6/28/12). The law was enacted in 2011, but certain provisions, including the waiting period provision, had been temporarily halted while Planned Parenthood's appeal made its way through the legal system.
PPMNS filed a motion to dismiss the suit without prejudice, meaning it could challenge the measure again. Sarah Stoesz, president of PPMNS, said that the choice to file the motion was "not an easy decision" but she added that she was doubtful the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals would have decided in the group's favor, particularly because the court has "ruled against women's interests time after time."
Stoesz stressed that PPMNS would continue to fight "very, very hard" against the CPC provision. U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier in June ruled that the screening provision could take effect (AP/Washington Post, 12/21).