Guest Column: Fred Deutsch responds to Argus Leader article on South Dakota Senate Bill 110

South Dakota Right to Life President Dr. Fred Deutsch offers the following column in response to a February 26th Article by Dana Ferguson appearing in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, which Dr. Deutsch contends contains questionable statements and misrepresented the nature and provisions of the bill. Fred offered a response to the Argus Leader, but indicates that they refused to print it, and that the Argus “stands by Dana Ferguson’s reporting” and “won’t be running this response.”

Today, the Governor signed the bill into law.  And we have Fred’s response for your consideration:

On February 26, 2018, the Argus Leader published an article written by Dana Ferguson.

That article, from beginning to end, contains false statements of fact and completely misrepresents the nature and provisions of South Dakota’s S110 bill.

The bill establishes that the abortion industry in SD uses biased practices when it comes to compliance with current informed consent law and lays out numerous findings of fact about the many ways the industry is not in compliance.

Because people have inquired about that article I write to set the record straight.

Ferguson, throughout the article, promotes the false inference that S110 creates new requirements for Planned Parenthood. It does not.

Further, she does not identify the one single thing the statute actually does, which is to expand previously authorized counseling for pregnant mothers at registered pregnancy help centers. We believe this law is necessary because Planned Parenthood continues to fail to comply with South Dakota’s 2005 Informed Consent Laws, the decisions of the Federal Courts, and the orders of the Federal Courts.

Some history is helpful here.

In 2005, South Dakota believed it was essential to the rights of a pregnant mother to know that “the life of a whole, separate, unique human being” would be terminated with an abortion. The legislature passed legislation requiring abortion providers inform women of this fact. This is referred to as the Human Being Disclosure. Planned Parenthood refused to obey the disclosure law. After six and a half years of litigation, which Planned Parenthood lost, and after a court expressly directing them to use the exact language of the statute, Planned Parenthood continues to refuse to make an accurate and proper Human Being Disclosure.

In 2011, South Dakota passed an Anti-Coercion Statute. This bill was passed because there was strong evidence that many pregnant mothers were being pressured or coerced into having abortions they did not want.

The statute was designed to protect the women from unwanted coercion to have an abortion. Among the provisions in the statute was the requirement that no one could schedule an abortion except a physician, and only after the physician first met with the mother and performed preliminary screening.

Further, the 2011 Anti-Coercion Statute prohibited the doctor from scheduling the abortion in less than seventy-two hours after the screening. Planned Parenthood sued over that statute as well, lost in court, and the seventy-two hour wait period went into effect about four years ago.

Prior to that wait period going into effect, every woman who went to Planned Parenthood was subjected to an abortion. In the first two years in which state statistics are available, 15% of the pregnant mothers who met with a physician for the initial screening did not come back for the second appointment and did not have the abortion. Thus, seventy-five women each year, given the chance to resist unwanted pressures, have kept the children they wanted.

Still, Planned Parenthood persisted with ongoing litigation, and in 2012 the eleven judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals held that the Suicide Disclosure component of the law (that “an abortion places a woman at increased risk for suicide ideation and suicide”), was truthful, accurate, non-misleading and relevant to the decision of the pregnant mother.

Despite the Court decisions and Court orders, Planned Parenthood’s current disclosure forms flatly state that there is no such risk. That is not only a violation of the law and the Court’s orders, but is negligent conduct which violates the rights of the pregnant mother to make an informed decision before consenting to a procedure which is fatal for her child, and one that terminates her own constitutionally protected relationship with her child.

Due to ongoing disregard to disclosure requirements, S110 was introduced to simply allow registered pregnancy centers like the Alpha Center in Sioux Falls to provide the counseling that Planned Parenthood has refused to provide. The bill passed overwhelmingly, 27-8 in the Senate and 56-9 in the House. Today, as I write this, it was signed by the Governor.

The state has chosen not to punish Planned Parenthood for its dereliction of duty under the Informed Consent Law. It has, instead, chosen to further assist the women by helping provide compassionate counseling by counselors who are sensitive to women who value their relationship with their children.

Ferguson’s article appears to be little more than Planned Parenthood waging a public relations campaign on matters which have no substance and on matters they know have been resolved by the Courts.

Fred Deutsch, DC
President, South Dakota Right to Life

29 Replies to “Guest Column: Fred Deutsch responds to Argus Leader article on South Dakota Senate Bill 110”

  1. Anon1

    Seriously, Fred, did you really think that the Argus suddenly wants to become a fair and balanced media?!?

  2. Jaa Dee

    On January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its landmark decision in the case of Roe v. Wade, which recognized that the constitutional right to privacy extends to a woman’s right to make her own personal medical decisions — including the decision to have an abortion without interference from politicians.

    “without interference from politicians.”– What does this guy and his pandering buddies not understand about something that basic?

    How much more tax money for lawsuits do “these people” want to spend defending barriers to Constitutional right that have already or will be found unConstitutional with the first test?

    This is beyond ridiculous and whenever these political panderings are defeated in court we never hear these people mention the $ it costs the loser in to pay the costs for both parties….

    Roe v. Wade, which recognized that the constitutional right to privacy extends to a woman’s right to make her own personal medical decisions — including the decision to have an abortion without interference from politicians.

    1. Anne Beal

      What Constitutional Right to Privacy?
      Where in the Constitution do we have a right to privacy?

      I saw an interview Charlie Rose did with Ruthie Ginsburg. She explained how they did that one:
      They wanted to make abortion legal, so they had to start with the decision they wanted to reach and worked backwards, trying to figure out what they could use to justify that decision.
      Yeah she actually said that.

      They did it, they invented an nonexistent right. It would be nice if we had a right to privacy, but we don’t, and the Patriot Act proves it. So does the ACA, for that matter. If what transpires between a patient and physician were a matter of privacy, chelation therapy and Laetrile would be legal. Cannabis too.

      They made up a right which doesn’t exist.

      That’s not how the SCOTUS is supposed to work. Just sayin’

    2. Anonymous

      We get it; you love abortion and think that anyone who realizes it is the murder of an unborn child is pushing their morality on you. Just because a few people in robes said it’s okay doesn’t make it morally right, and laws are overturned all the time (or simply ignored if you are Barack Hussein Obama)

    3. Michael Wyland

      Two points:

      1) Roe doesn’t allow unfettered access to abortion. The 1973 opinion written by Harry Blackmun relied heavily on medical data and practices available at the time. This informed the “trimester” approach the Court took to the limits of action that could be taken at different points in a pregnancy. 2) Both abortion opponents and defenders are better served looking at Planned Parenthood v. Casey than they are by fixating on Roe. The PP decision is more recent (1992, I think) and more on-point, especially regarding state action to limit abortion and abortion access.

  3. Charlie Hoffman

    Jaa Dee because of a single jaw dropping number of children taken from the womb in South Dakota our population of workers are too low for many business’s to relocate here. This is pure economic disaster. In a perfect world we would be well over one Million SD Citizens. But it must be too horrid to have the option of birth and adoption explained to a scared soon to be mom for you.

    1. Anonymous

      I think you are arguing with a house built on sand, Charlie. The liberals are clinging to their precious safe spaces and rights to abortion (a change to Obama’s insulting reference to guns and religion).

  4. Anne Beal

    Deutsche and Mentele should join forces, challenge medical marijuana policy using the same imaginary right to privacy argument. Patient and physician and all that.
    Either marijuana will be declared legal or Roe v Wade will be overturned.

  5. Fred Deutsch

    Jaa Dee, since the Supreme Court handed down its 1973 decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, politicians in all states including South Dakota have legally constructed a lattice work of abortion law, codifying, regulating and limiting whether, when and under what circumstances a woman may obtain an abortion. Currently, South Dakota has the lowest per capita rate of abortion in the US – a fact we are very proud of. Still, the murder of one precious unborn baby is one too many. We will continue to press the fight.

    1. Anonymous

      Fight on, Fred, fight on! You are on the right side of this. Funny how the liberals are the “left” and the conservatives are the “right”; seems to fit in so many circumstances.

      I think the abortion push got it’s start in the sexual revolution; people running around engaging in free “love” and getting pregnant (gee, how did that happen?); so one immoral culture wave jump-started another. It is the self-centered nature of mankind (oops, sorry little Trudeau in Canada, it was a faux paux)-personkind.

  6. Anne Beal

    Jaa Dee I left out euthanasia. Big oops. If you had a constitutional right to privacy you and your doctor could decide to kill you. How about that?

    It’s amazing how many medical procedures are NOT covered by any constitutional right to privacy.

  7. Charlie Hoffman

    Anne we got lucky back in college. Back then you could smoke a nickle bag of weed and go to football practice or ace any test afterwards. One too many hits of this newfangled BC Bud stuff they tell me leaves you speechless and unable to get up from the couch. Sort of like Star Wars Weed. Aborting a perfectly healthy American baby is opening up the border to needed non-American labor because of low American birth rates. Simple macro-economics.
    I’ll never forget Mother Teresa scolding Slick Willy in front of thousands over America’s condoning of abortion. She never mentioned weed once.

    1. Anne Beal

      Charlie I am arguing the point of a Constitutional Right to Privacy:

      The entire premise of Roe v Wade was a fraud.

  8. Charlie Hoffman

    Anne I get that but it will be a cold day in Hell when either happens or the Vikings win the Super Bowl. LOL

    1. Anonymous

      Get rid of Ginsburg and you may see a case where roe is overturned and returned to the states to decide

  9. Lee Schoenbeck

    Fred, well written. Unfortunate that Argus persists with both articles and choice of language that is unfair to the prolife perspective.

    1. Fred Deutsch

      Part of the effort in writing was to provide historical context to show why this bill is needed. In South Dakota, many tens of thousands of unborn babies have been killed by Planned Parenthood since 1973, and across the US the number is a staggering 7.6 million. All Planed Parenthood has to do is obey the law – provide full informed consent to women – and this bill would not have been necessary.

      1. TOTS

        The CDC counts miscarriages as abortions. Please correct the actual number of abortions not including miscarriages.

        1. KM

          Does it upset you the number of abortions are dropping? You want more dead babies and more depressed mothers whose risk of suicide increases? Where did you get that information? When I visit the CDC website, I see this…

          “CDC’s surveillance system compiles information on legal induced abortions only.”

          And this…

          “For the purpose of surveillance, a legal induced abortion is defined as an intervention performed by a licensed clinician (e.g., a physician, nurse-midwife, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant) that is intended to terminate an ongoing pregnancy.”

          If you are so concerned about getting the number of murdered babies correct, why wouldn’t you do it yourself? What I do know is death by a firearm statistics include suicides which makes the number of gun related deaths very misrepresented, but that’s for another day.

      1. KM

        Really? You have enough sense to come to SDWC, but loose it by asking what the Argus is?

        Care to share where you’re from?!!

  10. Anne Beal

    Someday the Vikings will win the Super Bowl and people will stop looking at the trees, the separate issues of euthanasia, abortion, medical cannabis, Laetrile, etc, and see the forest: a non-existent right to privacy, and the fact that the regulation of medical practice rightfully belongs to the states. There is no constitutional amendment granting the regulation of medical practice to the federal government, either. Physicians are licensed by the states.

    It is unfortunate that so many people have gotten lost in the woods.

  11. KM

    Is it surprising the Argus, specifically Ferguson, prints pieces that contain false statements of fact? A similar situation happened when they reported on advocates for SB200, and wasn’t there a piece that contained fabricated quotes? They’ll continue to push an agenda reaching out to extreme leftists and
    “nasty” feminists. Push-back exposing their rhetoric needs to take place and who better than well-respected men and women of SD.

    Press on, SDRL!

  12. Cliff Hadley

    Gotta love how Jaa Dee and others like him love all things science but refuse to accept the biological truth that a unique human being happens at conception. Is it any surprise that Planned Parenthood supporters can’t say simply, “It’s evil to kill our children”?

    1. Anonymous

      I agree Cliff. it is not like at week 20 a baby magically appears in a woman and starts growing then. Life begins at conception, end of story.

    2. KM

      Agreed, and may I add the denial of accepting how hateful and racist Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was. Mike Wallace interviews Sanger and it’s quite shocking what she had to say. Here are some of her quotes, and after some thought, maybe she would fit right in with the pro-abortion, nasty feminist supporters of today.

      “We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.”

      “I accepted an invitation to talk to the women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan.”

      “But for my view, I believe that there should be no more babies.”

      This ^^^ is what Planned Parenthood represents, this ^^^ is what pro-abortion advocates support.


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