NEAR-TOTAL WITH DELAYED EFFECTIVE DATE ("TRIGGER" BAN)
In 2005, South Dakota enacted a near-total ban on abortion, to become effective if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. The ban prohibits abortion unless necessary to preserve a woman's life, and specifically applies both to surgical and medical (mifepristone) abortion. A person who provides a prohibited abortion could be imprisoned for up to two years. S.D. Codified Laws § 22-17-5.1 (Enacted 2005).
AFTER 12 WEEKS
South Dakota has an unconstitutional and unenforceable ban that outlaws abortion procedures as early as 12 weeks. S.D. Codified Laws §§ 34-23A-27 to -33 (Enacted 1997).
South Dakota's ban is unconstitutional according to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Stenberg v. Carhart. 530 U.S. 914 (2000). In Stenberg, the court held that a similar ban, which had no exception to protect a woman's health and was written so broadly as to ban more than one procedure, placed an undue burden on a woman's right to choose. Responding to the Stenberg decision, South Dakota's attorney general at the time, Mark Barnett, stated, "In practical terms, [the U.S. Supreme Court decision] means that the South Dakota statute is unenforceable. . . . Our hands are tied. They've expressed the law and we must follow it." Foes of 'Partial-Birth' Abortion Face Uphill Battle After Court Ruling, Assoc. Press, June 29, 2000.
South Dakota's unconstitutional and unenforceable law makes any abortion procedure that falls within a broad definition a felony. The law has an exception if an abortion is necessary to preserve the life of a woman endangered by a physical disorder, illness, or injury, including a life-endangering condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, and no other medical procedure will suffice. S.D. Codified Laws §§ 34-23A-27 to -33 (Enacted 1997).
There is also a Federal Abortion Ban, which applies nationwide regardless of state law. The federal ban prohibits certain second-trimester abortion procedures and has no exception for a woman's health. In April 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the ban, making it the first time since Roe v. Wade that the court has upheld a ban on a previability abortion procedure. Click here to read more about the Federal Abortion Ban.