In Washington State, pro-choice advocates are fighting for legislation that would make so-called "crisis pregnancy centers"---facilities, often religious, that try to talk pregnant women out of getting abortions---disclose that they don't offer medical services.

They're up against well-organized opposition from the Christian right. But at least they're on offense, not defense.

In South Dakota, they're fighting against legislation that would require pregnant women to visit a pregnancy center before she can get an abortion. The legislation, RH Reality Check reports, is full of thinly veiled anti-choice language:
Prior to the day of any scheduled abortion the pregnant mother must have a consultation at a pregnancy help center at which the pregnancy help center shall inform her about what education, counseling, and other assistance is available to help the pregnant mother keep and care for her child, and have a private interview to discuss her circumstances that may subject her decision to coercion.  That prior to signing a consent to an abortion, the physician shall first obtain from the pregnant mother, a written statement that she obtained a consultation with a pregnancy help center, which sets forth the name and address of the pregnancy help center, the date and time of the consultation, and the name of the counselor at the pregnancy help center with whom she consulted.

The bill also defines a pregnancy center in a way that makes it basically impossible for a pro-choice group to establish one.
The pregnancy help center has a facility or office in the state of South Dakota in which it routinely consults with women for the purpose of helping them keep their relationship with their unborn children; that one of its principal missions is to educate, counsel, and otherwise assist women to help them maintain their relationship with their unborn children; that they do not perform abortions at their facility, and have no affiliation with any organization or physician which performs abortions; that they do not now refer pregnant women for abortions, and have not referred any pregnant women for an abortion at any time in the three years immediately preceding July 1, 2011.

So, y'know... Could be worse.


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