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South Dakota Informed Consent Law (HB 1166)

This law was last updated on Aug 18, 2014


South Dakota


HB 1166




Jan 27, 2005


Supporteds: 1
Primary Sponsors: 67
Total Sponsors: 68


Informed Consent, Waiting Periods and Forced Counseling

Full Bill Text

HB 1166 prohibits a physician from performing an abortion without the voluntary and informed consent of the woman upon whom the physician intends to perform the abortion. Except in cases of medical emergency, consent is voluntary and informed if the physician provides the following information in writing:

  1. The name of the physician who will perform the abortion;
  2. That the abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being;
  3. That 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;
  4. That by having an abortion, her existing relationship and her existing constitutional rights with regards to that relationship will be terminated;
  5. A description of all known medical risks of the procedure and statistically significant risk factors to which the pregnant woman would be subjected, including: (a) depression and related psychological distress; (b) increased risk of suicide ideation and suicide; (c) a statement setting forth an accurate rate of deaths due to abortions, including all deaths in which the abortion procedure was a substantial contributing factor; (d) all other known medical risks to the physical health of the woman, including the risk of infection, hemorrhage, danger to subsequent pregnancies; and (e) infertility;
  6. The probable gestational age of the fetus at the time the abortion is to be performed, and a scientifically accurate statement describing the development of the fetus at that age; and
  7. The statistically significant medical risks associated with carrying her child to term compared to undergoing an induced abortion.

These disclosures must be provided in writing two hours before the abortion.

The law also requires the physician to provide a statement in person or on the telephone that contains the following information:

  1. That medical assistance benefits may be available for prenatal care, childbirth, and neonatal care;
  2. That the father of the unborn child is legally responsible to provide financial support for her child following birth;
  3. The name, address, and telephone number of a pregnancy help center close to the abortion facility where the abortion will be performed; and
  4. That she has a right to review all of the material and information described in this Act, as well as the printed materials described in SDCL § 34-23A-10.3, and the website described in SDCL § 34-23A-10.4.

This information must be provided at least 24 hours before the abortion.

Prior to signing a written consent for the abortion, the pregnant woman must sign a written statement indicating that all of the provisions of this law have been complied with. In addition, the physician who is going to perform the abortion must certify in writing that all required materials have been provided to the pregnant woman and that the physician is satisfied that the woman has read the materials.

Studies show that the claim that abortion increases the risk of mental health problems is false. Claims to the contrary are based on anecdotal evidence rather than scientific studies. According to the Guttmacher Institute, “[t]he evidence and the observable reality of 40 years of legal abortion in the United States do not comport with the idea that having an abortion is any more dangerous to a woman’s long-term mental health than delivering and parenting a child that she did not intend to have or placing a baby for adoption.”


This law was challenged and upheld as constitutional. (See Planned Parenthood v. Rounds.)