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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
3.1.2016

CONTACT: Jen Aulwes
651.755.9557

Sioux Falls, SD – March 1, 2016 – Yesterday South Dakota politicians passed a bill that would force doctors to tell a woman seeking an medication abortion that it is possible to discontinue her abortion, information that is not supported by any recent medical research and could potentially harm her physical health or future pregnancies.

Among those testifying against the bill was Dr. Jim Barker, a physician with 40 years experience practicing medicine in South Dakota at multiple hospitals, including Avera McKennan Hospital and Sanford Medical Center. “Telling a woman it is possible to continue her pregnancy after taking the first pill in a two-step medication abortion, when no recent research has been conducted on the safety and efficacy of taking only the first pill, would be medically irresponsible,” said Dr. Barker.

“As physicians, our first responsibility is to do no harm,” continued Dr. Barker. “The informed consent process, mandated by HB 1157, is a case study in harm.”

“This law would actually require doctors to give women information that could negatively impact their physical health,” said Sarah Stoesz, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, which operates to one remaining abortion clinic in the state. “It’s outrageous that South Dakota lawmakers cited 30-year old medical research in order to support their claims.  We should not allow politicians – who are not medical experts – to instruct doctors to give medical advice that has no data to back it up. That’s bad-policy-making and bad-medicine, plain and simple.”

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For more than 85 years, Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota has worked in our region to make sure all people have the information and the means to make free and responsible decisions about whether and when to have children.  Planned Parenthood operates 19 clinics in Minnesota and South Dakota and an Online Health Center, providing quality and affordable family planning, reproductive health care services and education to nearly 64,000  women and men each year.

Visit us on the web at www.ppmns.org