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South Dakota

Post-Viability Abortion Restriction

South Dakota's post-viability abortion restriction states that no abortion may be provided after the 24th week of pregnancy unless necessary to preserve the woman's life or health.  S.D. Codified Laws § 34-23A-5 (Enacted 1973).

NARAL Pro-Choice America supports the legal framework established in Roe v. Wade and does not oppose restrictions on post-viability abortion, such as South Dakota's, that contain adequate exceptions to protect the life and health of the woman.  NARAL Pro-Choice America opposes South Dakota's law because it is unconstitutional to the extent that it prohibits pre-viability abortion by defining viability at 24 weeks.  A state may not prohibit abortion prior to viability, which is that point at which a fetus is capable of "meaningful life" outside a woman's body.  Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 163 (1973).  Because viability is a point that varies with each pregnancy, states may not declare that it occurs at a particular gestational age.  Colautti v. Franklin, 439 U.S. 379, 388-89 (1979).


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