American Civil Liberties Union Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. For IMMEDIAT
American Civil Liberties Union
Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc.
For IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 15, 1993
PLANNED PARENTHOOD AND ACLU SEEK INJUNCTION AGAINST
SOUTH DAKOTA ANTI-CHOICE LAW
NEW YORK -- Attorneys for Planned Parenthood Federation of
America (PPFA) and the American Civil Liberties Union today filed
suit in South Dakota federal court to block implementation of an
anti-choice law that threatens the welfare of minors and poor
women in the state. The complaint was filed in Pierre, S.D.
The law requires a 24-hour waiting period for all women seeking
abortions and a parental notice requirement for minors. Barring a
court-ordered injunction, the law will take effect July 1.
Colleen K. Connell, the ACLU attorney handling the case, said
that the law's 24 hour waiting period requirement will impose a
"demonstrably severe burden on rural women who will have to
travel hundreds of miles each way to obtain an abortion."
The state has only one doctor who provides abortions, Dr. Buck
"This law targets the state's most vulnerable women, Connell
said. "Misguided in conception, it will prove devastating in
The suit argues that the South Dakota law also discriminates
against minors. Unlike similar laws in other states, it does not
provide a "judicial bypass" option for young women who feel they
would endanger themselves by notifying a parent.
"Young women trapped in abusive family situations suffer enough
without being further penalized by discriminatory anti-choice
legislation," said Dara Klassel, representing PPFA's Legal Action
for Reproductive Rights. She added that the law is
"Certainly most young women considering abortion do discuss their
decision with their parents in an atmosphere of mutual trust and
"But federal courts have long recognized the value of the
judicial bypass option to minors in extreme family situations.
Parents have the power to coerce their children into carrying a
pregnancy to term even when to do so would be against the child's
best interests," Klassel said.
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