Federal Court Approves Doctors Telling Patients that Abortion Can Lead to Suicide

Tuesday, August 07, 2012
A federal appeals court has upheld a controversial South Dakota law that requires doctors to tell patients considering an abortion that the procedure can lead to increased risks of suicide.
Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit challenging the 2005 law after it was adopted, arguing it interfered with abortion rights and doctors’ free-speech rights. The organization won a ruling before U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier, who struck down the abortion-suicide provision.
South Dakota’s attorney general, Marty Jackley, appealed the ruling to the appellate court based in St. Louis. There, a three-judge panel upheld Schreier’s decision last year.
But then in July a full-court panel of judges voted 7–4 to overrule the three-judge decision, saying they agreed there was a truthful link between abortion and suicide.
Sarah Stoesz, president and chief executive officer of South Dakota’s chapter of Planned Parenthood, said the law was “just one of many reprehensible barriers that South Dakota politicians are determined to impose on women seeking safe and legal health care.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff
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