Doctors must warn women who seek abortion in South Dakota

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 24 November 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2707
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. 1New York

    Doctors in South Dakota must tell every woman who seeks an abortion that the procedure “will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being”; that she “has an existing relationship with that unborn human being and that the relationship enjoys protection under the United States constitution and the laws of South Dakota”; and that she faces the risk of depression, suicide, infertility, and risks to future pregnancies if she has an abortion.

    The “informed consent” law, which came into effect in June, was denounced this week in an editorial and a perspectives article in the New England Journal of Medicine (2008;359:23, doi:10.1056/NEJMe0809669 and 2008;359:2189-91,

    The editorial called the law “an affront to the first amendment rights of physicians and an embarrassment to the people of South Dakota . . . If states are permitted to mandate ideological speech about abortion, what is to stop them from doing the same for …

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