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South Dakota

Restrictions on Young Women's Access to Abortion

South Dakota law restricts young women's access to abortion.

Is the law enforceable?  Yes.

Who is considered a minor?  A young woman under the age of 18 who is not emancipated.

What is required - parental consent or parental notice?  Notice.

Who must be notified?  One parent.

Are there other trusted adults who may be notified instead?  No.

What is the process for obtaining notification?  A young woman may not obtain an abortion until at least 48 hours after the physician or physician's agent personally delivers written notice to one parent, unless the person entitled to notice certifies in writing that he or she has been notified.  In lieu of personal delivery, notice can be made by certified mail.  If notice is made by certified mail, the 48-hour period begins to run at noon on the next day regular mail delivery takes place. 

May the parental mandate be waived if a young woman is a victim of rape or incest?  No.

May the parental mandate be waived if a young woman is a victim of child abuse?  No.

May the parental mandate be waived if a young woman's health is threatened?  Yes, but only if the attending physician certifies in writing that "a medical emergency exists and there is insufficient time to provide the required notice."  A medical emergency is defined as a medical condition that necessitates an immediate abortion to preserve the woman's life or for which a delay will create "serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function."  This law was amended in 2005, and now states that if a young woman receives an emergency abortion, her parent must still be notified after the fact, unless a judge finds that she is mature and capable of determining whether notice should be given, or that waiver of notice was in her best interests.

May the parental mandate be waived under any other circumstances?  Yes, the young woman may try to obtain permission from a judge.

If a young woman must obtain permission from a judge, what is the process?  She must secure a court order stating either that she is mature and capable of giving informed consent or that an abortion without parental notice is in her best interests.

Are there other significant requirements under the law?  No.

Has a court considered the constitutionality of this law?  No.

Other information about the law:  None.

S.D. Codified Laws §§ 34-23A-1 (Enacted 1973; Last Amended 2006), -7 (Enacted 1973; Last Amended 2005), -7.1 (Enacted 1997; Last Amended 2005), -10.2 (Enacted 1980; Last Amended 1997), -22 (Enacted 1993; Last Amended 1997), §26-1-1 (Enacted 1939; Last Amended 1972).


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