What is Choice?
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Although preventing unintended pregnancies is central to our work, NARAL Pro-Choice South Dakota works to protect the right to choose abortion.
In 1973, the Supreme Court guaranteed American women the right to choose abortion in its landmark decision Roe v. Wade. In Roe, the Court issued a compromise between the state's ability to restrict abortion and a woman's right to choose.
Since that time, the anti-choice movement has worked furiously to dismantle it with the ultimate goal of overturning the decision altogether. Anti-choice activists are working hard in the South Dakota state legislature, the courts, and Congress to take away our rights.
Access to Abortion
Making abortion access more difficult and dangerous is a key tactic of the anti-choice movement. Even with Roe v. Wade's protections still in place, 87 percent of U.S. counties have no abortion provider, and only one clinic in South Dakota provides abortion services. Yet anti-choice lawmakers continue to impose a broad range of restrictions on women and their doctors, making abortion difficult, and in some cases nearly impossible, to obtain. South Dakota lawmakers have enacted dozens of restrictions on abortion services, including biased counseling requirements, restrictive parental notification laws, and a "trigger ban that will outlaw abortion in South Dakota if Roe is overturned.
NARAL Pro-Choice America wrote a detailed history of South Dakota's abortion legislation, culminating in the 2006 ban overturned by the voters. "Behind the Ban: Politics and South Dakota's Abortion Ban" can be found here.
Even after the defeat of the 2006 ban, South Dakota was one of twelve states that considered near-total bans on abortion in 2008. The 2008 ban was defeated by a 55-45 margin.
RU 486 (Non Surgical/Medical Abortion)
In 2000, the FDA approved RU 486 (also called mifepristone, non-surgical abortion, or medical abortion), giving American women the option to end an unintended pregnancy without surgery. Although millions of women have safely used RU 486 worldwide since 1981, anti-choice lawmakers and groups fought FDA approval every step of the way; having failed, they are now doing everything they can to make it difficult or even impossible to obtain. (RU 486 should not be confused with emergency contraception, also known as the "morning-after" pill, which is a basic form of birth control that prevents pregnancy and does not cause abortion.)