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South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard National Governor's Association
Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

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South Dakota bans abortions after 20 weeks as governor signs bill into law

Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

PIERRE, South Dakota, March 11, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed a Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act into law, making South Dakota the 13th state in the nation to restrict abortion to the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Medical science with the aid of ultrasound technology has proven that babies in the womb as young or younger than twenty weeks gestation can feel pain – and react with alarm – when they are aborted, either by ripping their limbs apart or by poisoning their system with saline.

The other states that have pain capable bills protecting preborn children are Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

South Dakota state Rep. Isaac Latterell, one of the bill's sponsors, told National Right to Life News that the bill recognizes “the humanity of unborn children” who can feel pain.  “These are people just like you and me," he said.

“I’m thrilled the Governor signed the bill,” Dr. Fred Deutsch, president of South Dakota Right to Life told LifeSiteNews.  “The fact that the unborn baby can experience severe pain from abortion provides additional verification that the baby is a human being deserving of protection.”

“This legislation begins a new chapter in the history of South Dakota,” Dr. Deutsch told LifeSiteNews, “to protect unborn babies in our state.”

South Dakota legislators have successfully passed four major pro-life laws this session, with bills to inform women their medical abortions may be reversed if steps are taken in time, to require the state health department to make its abortuary inspection records public, and to make the sale of aborted baby parts a felony.

The pro-life bills passed with overwhelming margins, except for the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which was the only bill that did not pass by a wide enough margin to be “veto-proof.”

The newly passed Informed Consent law, to inform mothers that their chemical abortion can be reversed if action is quickly taken, is on the governor's desk, awaiting his anticipated signature.

The Fetal Body Part Ban, championed by South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley, was delivered to the governor Tuesday.

On Monday, Gov. Daugaard signed the Reporting Bill, requiring the South Dakota Health Department to make public its records on inspections of abortion facilities.

Nebraska first enacted a Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in 2010, from the original model drafted by National Right to Life’s Department of State Legislation.

The South Carolina Senate also passed a Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act on Tuesday, which now goes to the state House for approval.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a national informed consent bill sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R- AZ) requiring women to be notified of the possibility that they may reconsider and save their baby even after taking the first abortifacient pill, but it has never passed the U.S. Senate.

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