What's at stake
- The right of women to be fully informed of the dangers of abortion
- The human right of infants in the womb to recognition of their status as “a whole, separate, unique, living human being”
- The authority of state government to enforce laws that protect women without interference from organizations who stand to make a profit
Research demonstrates that abortion puts women at an increased risk of depression and suicide. It is also an accepted medical fact that an unborn child is a unique living human being and that abortion terminates that life. When South Dakota required abortionists to inform women of these facts prior to any abortion, Planned Parenthood immediately challenged the law.
The District Court agreed with Planned Parenthood, overturning the requirement. In two separate decisions, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reversed the district court, finding that the suicide advisory is truthful and relevant to the woman’s decision to have an abortion and that South Dakota could require abortionists to inform women about the scientific fact that their abortion would “terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.”
Our role in this case
Attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom filed a friend-of-the-court brief in 2010 on behalf of several pro-family and pro-life groups. Harold Cassidy, one of more than 2,200 allied attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom, filed the appeals to the 8th Circuit on behalf of a group of pregnancy centers that successfully intervened in the suit to protect the interest of women.