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Planned Parenthood Challenged Interference in Doctor/Patient Relationship

Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals Issues Ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Rounds
Planned Parenthood Challenged Interference in Doctor/Patient Relationship

New York, New York — The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in St. Louis today issued a ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Rounds, a case challenging a South Dakota law that requires doctors to give ideologically charged information to women seeking abortion services. Among other provisions, the law requires doctors to inform women seeking abortion services that the abortion would “terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.”

This case was brought by Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota (PPMNS), along with Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), the nation’s leading reproductive health care provider and advocate.
In a 7-4 vote, the court, sitting en banc, vacated a lower court preliminary injunction, and allowed the South Dakota law to take effect. 
Planned Parenthood challenged the law in federal district court to protect women in South Dakota who rely on Planned Parenthood for abortion services. The lawsuit was brought on a number of bases, including that it violates doctors’ and patients’ constitutional rights by interfering in the doctor/patient relationship.
“This case is about whether women in South Dakota should be able to make private health care decisions with their doctors free from political interference,” said Mimi Liu, PPFA staff attorney. “Planned Parenthood asked the court to strike down this unconstitutional law and protect the doctor-patient relationship from government interference and state-mandated ideology.”
Prior federal court rulings have supported Planned Parenthood’s position.  The district court originally concluded that the law is likely unconstitutional and granted a preliminary injunction against it. South Dakota and two intervenors appealed that decision, and, on October 30, 2006, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit again ruled 2-1 to affirm the preliminary injunction. The state and the intervenors then asked that the panel’s decision be reviewed by all the judges of the Eighth Circuit, in an “en banc” review. 
“Today’s decision places South Dakota politicians between women and the doctors who care for them by requiring health care providers to deliver a state-mandated ideological message,” said PPMNS President and CEO Sarah Stoesz. “Planned Parenthood’s top priorities are the health and safety of our patients, and we will continue to provide the best health care possible under the ruling.”
Passed by the South Dakota legislature in 2005, this law was pushed through by the same politicians who tried to ban all abortions in South Dakota in 2006. In a critical victory for women’s health, the people of South Dakota voted down the dangerous ban by a margin of 12 points in November 2006. South Dakota has one of the lowest rates of abortion and some of the strictest laws in the United States regulating abortion.
“Planned Parenthood has been a trusted health care provider for 90 years and we believe women should always be able to get accurate, unbiased information about their health care,” added PPFA President Cecile Richards. "It's 2008 ideology has no place in the doctor’s office.”
Every year, in communities nationwide, PPFA affiliates provide millions of women, men and teens with the information, education and services they need to protect their health, prevent unintended pregnancy, and plan and space healthy, wanted pregnancies. In South Dakota, PPMNS provides family planning services, birth control, cancer screenings, sexually transmitted infection testing, and abortion services to thousands of women every year. Planned Parenthood is the only abortion provider in South Dakota. For more information, please visit www.plannedparenthood.org.



Planned Parenthood Federation of America


Tait Sye, 202-973-4840



June 27, 2008


May 14, 2014