American Civil Liberties Union Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. For IMMEDIAT

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American Civil Liberties Union Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. For IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 15, 1993 PLANNED PARENTHOOD AND ACLU SEEK INJUNCTION AGAINST SOUTH DAKOTA ANTI-CHOICE LAW NEW YORK -- Attorneys for Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and the American Civil Liberties Union today filed suit in South Dakota federal court to block implementation of an anti-choice law that threatens the welfare of minors and poor women in the state. The complaint was filed in Pierre, S.D. The law requires a 24-hour waiting period for all women seeking abortions and a parental notice requirement for minors. Barring a court-ordered injunction, the law will take effect July 1. Colleen K. Connell, the ACLU attorney handling the case, said that the law's 24 hour waiting period requirement will impose a "demonstrably severe burden on rural women who will have to travel hundreds of miles each way to obtain an abortion." The state has only one doctor who provides abortions, Dr. Buck Williams. "This law targets the state's most vulnerable women, Connell said. "Misguided in conception, it will prove devastating in practice." The suit argues that the South Dakota law also discriminates against minors. Unlike similar laws in other states, it does not provide a "judicial bypass" option for young women who feel they would endanger themselves by notifying a parent. "Young women trapped in abusive family situations suffer enough without being further penalized by discriminatory anti-choice legislation," said Dara Klassel, representing PPFA's Legal Action for Reproductive Rights. She added that the law is unconstitutional. "Certainly most young women considering abortion do discuss their decision with their parents in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect. "But federal courts have long recognized the value of the judicial bypass option to minors in extreme family situations. Parents have the power to coerce their children into carrying a pregnancy to term even when to do so would be against the child's best interests," Klassel said.


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