|Press Release: Ellison Condemns Court Ruling Obstructing a Woman’s Fundamental Right to Choose|
|July 23, 2008|
Calls Forced Language “Orwellian”
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) denounced the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals recent decision to lift a preliminary injunction against requiring physicians to recite a script to patients before performing an abortion procedure in South Dakota. “This Court’s ruling is outrageous in its demand that doctors recite an “Orwellian” script designed to intimidate and humiliate women exercising their reproductive rights. This obtuse ruling is an indication of this Court’s ignorance of, and insensitivity to, both the fundamental right to an abortion, as well as the process whereby a woman arrives at such a personal decision,” Ellison stated.
According to the Court’s decision, doctors are now required to tell a woman seeking an abortion that the procedure “will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique living human being.” Doctors must further state that the woman has “an existing relationship” with the fetus that is protected by the United States Constitution and that “her existing constitutional rights with regards to that relationship will be terminated.” Doctors must go on to state that “abortion increases the risk of suicide ideation and suicide.” The message must be delivered no earlier than two hours before the procedure, and the woman must state in writing that she understands the statement.
Another South Dakota law that already took effect July 1, 2008 requires doctors to ask a woman seeking an abortion if she wishes to see a sonogram of the fetus.
The South Dakota ruling is seen as a test case for the ultimate overturning of the landmark Roe v Wade 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized a woman’s right to choose.