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South Dakota governor signs abortion law requiring 3-day wait

PIERRE, S.D. — Women who want an abortion in South Dakota will face the longest waiting period in the nation — three days — and have to undergo counseling at pregnancy help centers that discourage abortions under a measure signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Dennis Daugaard.

Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota said they will ask a judge to strike down the measure as unconstitutional.

Daugaard said in a written statement that he had conferred with state attorneys who will defend the law in court and a sponsor who has pledged to raise private money to finance the state's effort. Officials have estimated the cost of defending the law at $1.7 million to $4.5 million.

"I think everyone agrees with the goal of reducing abortion by encouraging consideration of other alternatives," the Republican governor said.

About half the states, including South Dakota, now have 24-hour waiting periods, but the new law is the first of its kind in having a three-day waiting period, said Elizabeth Nash of the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports abortion rights.

South Dakota governor signs abortion law requiring 3-day wait 03/22/11 [Last modified: Friday, October 28, 2011 3:32pm]

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