Support Reproductive Rights in South Dakota

Support Reproductive Rights in South Dakota

From NARAL South Dakota

NARAL Pro-Choice South Dakota works to elect pro-choice politicians and lobby for abortion rights, birth control access, and comprehensive sex education in our state. Visit for more info.

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In 2016 and 2017, an average of 470 women accessed abortion care each year in South Dakota. 

Many of these women overcame great barriers to reach the health care they needed. Appointments are often booked 2-3 weeks out and there is a state-mandated 72 hour waiting period between the consultation appointment with a physician and the procedure. The only abortion clinic in the state is the Planned Parenthood clinic in Sioux Falls, meaning nearly one-third of women seeking an abortion in South Dakota must travel more than 150 miles. 

Around the U.S., lawmakers have enacted 231 abortion restrictions since 2011. South Dakota is no exception with some of the most draconian abortion laws in the country. In 2018, lawmakers passed SB 110: a bill designed specifically to shame its lone abortion clinic. 

SB 110 amends a law that has been tangled up in courts since 2011 that would require every abortion patient to also receive counseling from a crisis pregnancy center (a non-medical facility that uses questionable tactics in an attempt to convince women not to have abortions).

One. More. Obstacle. And one more opportunity for anti-choice extremists in our state to shame women. 

Enough is enough. 

Legal abortion carries a lower risk of complications than most routine dental surgeries. However, limiting access through legal and cultural barriers increases the chances that patients will seek out unsafe methods. South Dakota has nearly every barrier listed on the World Health Organization's fact sheet: 

  • restrictive laws
  • poor availability of services
  • high cost
  • stigma
  • conscientious objection of health-care providers and
  • unnecessary requirements, such as:
    • mandatory waiting periods
    • mandatory counselling
    • provision of misleading information
    • third-party authorization
    • medically unnecessary tests

    We will never forget the millions of women who have died or suffered permanent health consequences because they were denied access to a safe, legal abortion. 

    This testimony from Michael M. Levi on July 24, 1974 describes a reality to which the younger generations in the US have never had to bear witness. 

    We need to keep it that way.

    In December of 2016, Harper's Magazine published what is possibly the best description of the overall abortion struggle in South Dakota. From that article, a doctor described an incident he witnessed just 10 years ago: 

    "Some women take matters into their own hands. Not long after South Dakota’s second attempt to ban abortion, in 2008, a pregnant Native American girl, still in her teens, arrived in Buehner’s office, her uterus perforated with a toothpick. Because the risk of infection posed a medical emergency, Buehner was able to perform what Rapid City Regional Hospital deemed a medically necessary abortion, which has a different legal status from an elective abortion (and is thus exempt from the seventy-two-hour waiting period and other restrictions). “That’s how desperate people are,” he said. “There’s going to be more of that.”

    Legal abortion saves lives, but only when it's accessible to those who need it.

    470 doesn't include the women who drive to Minneapolis, Omaha or Denver. It doesn't include the women who manage to successfully induce their own abortions with products ordered off the internet. It doesn't include women who injure themselves with items like toothpicks in order to be treated at the emergency room in a life or death situation. 

    We honor these 470+ women, not despite their abortions but because of them. We trust their decision and recognize that when women are able to take care of themselves, we ALL benefit.

    When you donate just $10, we'll send you this rad limited edition pin designed by Quietly Fiery, which you can expect to arrive in the mail towards the end of April. 

    When you make a $20 donation, we'll send you a pin and a pack of 8 postcards with an image containing 470 hearts to represent the women we love who accessed abortion care last year in SD, along with the words "legal abortion saves lives." (Use the postcards to write to your lawmakers!)

    When you make a $30 donation, we'll send you a pin and craft kit with everything you need to make a cross stitch heart (canvas, hoop, thread, needle, pattern) made of 470 stitches. 

    When you make a $60 donation, we will send you a pin and hand crafted cross stitch heart made of 470 stitches and the words "legal abortion saves lives." 

    When you make a $100 donation, we will send you a completed cross stitch, 5 pins, and 8 postcards. 

    This project is made possible by the generosity of artists donating their time, talent, and passion. 100% of the profits will go to NARAL SD, which will help with basic operating costs that include sending volunteers to lobby at our state capital, campaigning for pro-choice candidates, and participating in local events to spread our message. 

    Special thanks: Pins designed by Quietly Fiery, produced by @thesearethings and visualized by Meegan Daigler and Alaina Appelbaum. 

    All products will be shipped out mid to late April. Thank you for your support!

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