Friday, July 18, 2008

Statement from PPMNS President and CEO Sarah Stoesz on the District Court’s Ruling in PPMNS v Rounds

July 18, 2008

(St. Paul) Late yesterday, the South Dakota District Court deferred a decision on a request for a preliminary injunction in the case of PPMNS v Rounds until the court has an opportunity to review all of the evidence and arguments developed and presented.

“We remain optimistic that, in time, the court will find that the law is unconstitutional,” said PPMNS President and CEO Sarah Stoesz.

The law requires, among other things, that doctors providing abortion care in South Dakota tell patients that,

The abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being;

“The pregnant woman has an existing relationship with that unborn human being and that the relationship enjoys protection under the United States Constitution and under the laws of South Dakota;

“By having an abortion, her existing relationship and her existing constitutional rights with regards to that relationship will be terminated.”

Further, the law requires physicians to provide “a description of all known medical risks of the procedure and statistically significant risk factors to which the pregnant woman would be subjected, including depression and related psychological distress” and “increased risk of suicide ideation and suicide.”

The patient must sign each page of the state’s required messages, certifying that she understands them. Any questions she asks or explanations she seeks, as well as the physicians’ responses, must be placed in writing and added to her permanent medical record.

A violation of the law is a Class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by 30 days in jail and/or a fine of $500.

This law, the only one of its kind in the U.S forces doctors to give ideologically charged, nonscientific and inaccurate messages to their patients.

“We have always believed and worked hard to ensure that every woman has the best, medically accurate information so that she can make the right decision for her unique circumstances. Stoesz said. “This law is not about informed consent, it’s about compelling doctors to deliver state mandated ideology,” Stoesz said.

“Planned Parenthood is committed to true informed consent. We want patients to fully participate in decisions about their health care. That requires that doctors have the ability to provide accurate and unbiased medical information to patients without the interference of government and politicians,” said Stoesz.

“Planned Parenthood will continue it’s commitment to the health and safety of women and families and will, as we always have, comply fully with all federal, state and local laws,” Stoesz said. “We will also continue to fight to ensure that women in South Dakota have access to safe, legal abortion.” Stoesz said.

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