UPDATES & ANALYSIS

7.25

8th Circuit: South Dakota Can Require Doctors to Warn Abortion-Seekers of Increased Suicide Risk

by Ryan Koopmans | July 25, 2012

By Ryan Koopmans

In an en banc opinion released this week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit upheld the portion of a 2005 South Dakota law that requires doctors to warn women that having an abortion could result in an increased risk of suicide.  The Court rejected two challenges to the law, ruling that that the suicide advisory requirement neither unduly burdens abortion rights nor violates physicians’ free speech rights.  This opinion reverses prior decisions by the district court and a three-member panel of the Eighth Circuit, and removes a permanent junction against enforcing the suicide advisory requirement.

The Eighth Circuit’s en banc review was granted only with respect to the suicide advisory requirement, which was part of a broader South Dakota law containing numerous provisions relating to informed consent requirements with respect to abortions.  The full opinion is here.  Our past coverage of the oral arguments is here.

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