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).