South Dakotans have wrestled many times with the question of abortion and what restrictions on the practice are appropriate.
In two separate votes, residents have made it clear they don’t want state lawmakers crafting legislation designed to challenge the U.S. Constitution.
While citizens have the right to disagree whether abortions should be legal, the fact is that Roe v. Wade made them legal.
Meanwhile, South Dakota already has set more restrictions on the availability and access of legal abortions than almost any other state in the nation.
That’s why it is disappointing to see a bill advancing through the Legislature that would place additional, unusually tough restrictions on a woman’s access to abortion.
Sponsored by state Rep. Roger Hunt, R-Brandon, the bill clearly sets roadblocks in front of women while creating a series of requirements that quite likely are unconstitutional.
The bill presumes that most women lack access to counseling before making a final decision to proceed with an abortion, so it requires women to visit pregnancy help centers. Yet, there’s no requirement that these centers employ licensed counselors.
And the litany of requirements placed upon physicians intrudes into the physician-client relationship that the bill claims to foster.
Hunt’s proposal basically is punitive in nature and out of step with the wishes of this state’s residents.
The Senate should reject this legislation.