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Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Planned Parenthood loses war on informed mothers in SDFull 8th Circuit’s decision means total loss so far for abortion giant’s attack on state’s informed consent law
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Attorney sound bite: Steven H. Aden
“A woman’s right to make a fully informed choice is more important than Planned Parenthood’s bottom line,” said Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden. “If Planned Parenthood truly cared about the well-being of women, it would not try to prevent them from being informed of the well-documented risk of suicide that accompanies abortion. The 8th Circuit has done the right thing in upholding a reasonable law that protects the well-being of women by making sure that the truth is not hidden from them.”
Attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom filed a friend-of-the-court brief in 2010 on behalf of several pro-family and pro-life groups. Harold Cassidy, one of more than 2,200 allied attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom, filed the initial appeal to the 8th Circuit on behalf of a group of pregnancy centers that successfully intervened in the suit, Planned Parenthood v. Rounds, to protect the interest of women.
“Any decision that a pregnant mother makes in the context of her considering an abortion that will deprive her of the joy and fulfillment of a life-long relationship with her child must be totally voluntary and well informed,” Cassidy said. “The victory today is a step towards achieving that goal for the women of South Dakota.”
In August 2009, a district court judge ruled that portions of the law requiring doctors to inform women contemplating abortion that they are terminating a human life are constitutional, but she also ruled that other portions requiring doctors to tell women of their legally protected relationship with the preborn child and warning them of the documented risks of depression and suicide from abortion were unconstitutional. A three-judge panel of the 8th Circuit reversed her decision concerning all provisions except for the “risk of suicide” provision, but after agreeing to review the case, the full 8th Circuit has reversed that part of her decision as well.
“The disclosure is truthful, as evidenced by a multitude of studies published in peer-reviewed medical journals that found an increased risk of suicide for women who had received abortions compared to women who gave birth, miscarried, or never became pregnant,” the full 8th Circuit concluded. “Various studies found this correlation to hold even when controlling for the effects of other potential causal factors for suicide, including pre-existing depression, anxiety, suicide ideation, childhood sexual abuse, physical abuse, child neuroticism, and low self-esteem.”
“Moreover,” the court added, “the suicide advisory is non-misleading and relevant to the patient’s decision to have an abortion, as required by Casey. It is a typical medical practice to inform patients of statistically significant risks that have been associated with a procedure through medical research, even if causation has not been proved definitively.”
Congress is currently investigating Planned Parenthood for waste, abuse, and potential fraud, and Alliance Defending Freedom has filed False Claims Act lawsuits in Texas and Iowa against two of the abortion giant’s affiliates.
Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly Alliance Defense Fund) is an alliance-building legal ministry that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.