In 2011, South Dakota passed a law enacting a 72-hour waiting period before a woman is allowed to have an abortion. According to the Associated Press, that is the longest waiting period in the United States. Other nations have similar or longer waiting periods, with Germany at 72 hours and Italy at one week. Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota filed a lawsuit to stop the implementation of the measure, which also requires women to undergo counseling at a pregnancy help center.
However, Planned Parenthood has now dropped its appeal of the 72-hour waiting period. Sarah Stoesz, the president of Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota, explained, “This was not an easy decision for us to make by any means. We believe that this law is wrong and disrespectful to women and it is completely unnecessary and for a host of reasons is ill-conceived.” According to Stoesz, Planned Parenthood was not confident that the court would rule in its favor.
Planned Parenthood now plans to focus on fighting the requirement that women undergo counseling at a pregnancy help center, claiming that the requirement is unethical.
Another provision of the law requires doctors who perform abortions to determine if a woman is being coerced into an abortion or if psychological problems will result from the procedure being performed. U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier ruled that provision could go into effect beginning July 1.