A state law that requires abortionists to inform women – before an abortion – that the procedure "will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being" apparently has done what no other pro-life protest has been able to accomplish – the closure of Planned Parenthood's abortion facility.
Today was the day for a federal court ruling affirming the South Dakota law to take effect, and as usual pro-life protesters gathered from several different organizations at the Sioux Falls Planned Parenthood business, as did several women who apparently had appointments.
However, a spokesman for the protest groups said no abortionists arrived and the women left after being counseled by the pro-lifer sidewalk counselors.
"I think Planned Parenthood cannot figure out a way not to comply with the law," said Dr. Allan Unruh, who with his wife has been integral in South Dakota's Vote Yes for Life campaign.
"We don't know if they will open again," he said. "Personally, I don't think they are
going to find any abortionists who want to take the risk of losing their license."
That circumstance could arise if an abortionist fails to provide a woman with the state-specified information, all of which pro-life advocates describe as, and the court agreed was, scientifically accurate.
Such a failure now is illegal in South Dakota, and a violation could bring heavy penalities. Unruh said lawyers representing pro-life organizations said a violation could bring an abortionist up to two years in jail as well as loss of a medical license.
"This is huge. Time will tell what Planned Parenthood does," Unruh said. "Their attorneys are calling our attorneys saying, 'We don’t want to comply.'
"This is historic. For the first time in 35 years, Planned Parenthood has had to close its doors."
A WND call to the Planned Parenthood office late today got only an answering machine that said the office was closed.
The new law requires abortionists to explain to women 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;
- That by having an abortion, her existing relationship and her existing constitutional rights with regards to that relationship will be terminated;
- A description of all known medical risks of the procedure including depression and related psychological stress and increased risk of suicide
The law took effect because the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently overturned an injunction that had stopped its implementation.
It was a 7-4 ruling that lifted the injunction against the South Dakota informed consent abortion law. Attorneys representing the Alliance Defense Fund filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of the Family Research Council in defense of the law.
"A woman's life is worth more than Planned Parenthood's bottom line," said ADF Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence in a statement. "Anyone truly concerned about the interests of women supports making sure they have access to all the information necessary to make a fully informed decision. Planned Parenthood, on the other hand, has argued adamantly to restrict the information women have about the lives of their pre-born babies."
The court said U.S. Supreme Court rulings allow a state to "use its regulatory authority to require a physician to provide truthful, non-misleading information relevant to a patient's decision to have an abortion, even if that information might also encourage the patient to choose childbirth over abortion."
Unruh said not only would jail time be possible, but the door would be open for civil lawsuits, because the state law presumes that the woman is not fully informed about the procedure unless the specifics of the law are met.
He said the South Dakota pro-life movement suffered defeat only 18 months ago when voters, following an intense and costly ad campaign in support of abortions, rejected a state law that essentially would have banned abortions.
"We just changed our tactics to dry up the money," Unruh said. "Now with this disclosure law, the same initiative [is being considered] in North Dakota.
"States all over are going to rise up," he said.
It's hard for pro-abortion lawmakers to argue the plan, because they are in the position of having to argue that they don't want accurate information provided to women, he said.
"The regular abortions were cancelled today as the abortionist refused to show up, and we'll see if any other abortionists plan to take the risks involved with full disclosure of what they do to women and their unborn children," Unruh said.
"Now is the time for Christians all across America to get involved in the voteyesforlife.com campaign. We must win this initiative that will once and for all outlaw all abortions for birth control reasons," he said.