South Dakota resumes abortions after 7-month hiatus

CNA Staff, Dec 3, 2020 / 06:48 pm (CNA).- Abortions are again being performed in South Dakota, following a seven-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sioux Falls Planned Parenthood, the state’s only abortion clinic, halted procedures in March.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, a small group of out-of-state doctors would fly into Sioux Falls from St. Paul. They would see clients and perform abortions a couple of days a week. When the pandemic hit, travel restrictions prevented the doctors from visiting the clinic, and the clinic stopped performing abortions.

Beginning in October, the clinic has resumed performing abortion, but only one day per month. The head of the clinic told CBS News that it is questionable if the clinic will remain financially viable.

Brad Lindwurm, director and vice president of Sioux Falls Area Right to Life, said the pro-life movement has been successful in enacting significant pro-life legislation in the state. Abortion is prohibited after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and the state requires a 72-hour waiting period following a woman’s requests for an abortion.

Last year, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem signed into law several new pro-life bills. Among other requirements, these laws mandate that women be provided with an ultrasound image of their baby and sign a consent form before an abortion.

According to the South Dakota Department of Health’s annual report, the number of abortions in South Dakota has decreased from 848 in 2008 to 414 in 2019.

In March, Lindwurm expressed hope that South Dakota would be the first state to ban abortion in America.

“When I stepped out in faith to lead the 40 Days for Life campaign last fall, I had a strong belief that God was going to use South Dakota to be the first state in the nation to end abortion in America (within a year),” Lindwurm told Live Action.

“I had no idea how that would be possible,” he continued, “but we are starting to see it come to fruition as Planned Parenthood simply cannot get their doctor flown into Sioux Falls from St. Paul and are inadvertently having to comply with our Governor’s recommendation to end elective surgery at this time.”

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