PIERRE, South Dakota, March 22, 2011 ( – South Dakota’s new pro-life Republican governor signed into law Tuesday legislation that requires a three-day waiting period for women seeking abortion.


“I think everyone agrees with the goal of reducing abortion by encouraging consideration of other alternatives,” said Gov. Dennis Daugaard in a statement. “I hope that women who are considering an abortion will use this three-day period to make good choices.”

The law (HB 1217) is aimed at preventing mothers from feeling coerced or pressured into having an abortion, and requires that women have a one-on-one session with a crisis pregnancy center counselor during the 72-hour waiting period.

The mother would have to certify that she obtained counseling, and learned about the assistance and education available to help her “keep and care for her child,” prior to undergoing an abortion.

While nearly half of U.S. states have 24-hour waiting periods for abortion, South Dakota is the first state to make a three-day waiting period. The law is set to take effect July 1.

The American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota, and Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota have announced that they will sue the state of South Dakota over the law. Planned Parenthood is the sole remaining operator of an abortion facility in the state.

Supporters of the legislation have pledged to raise private funds to finance a constitutional defense.