Appeals Court Upholds 'Existing Relationship' Abortion Law

Just in time for the incipient presidential primary season, a federal court decision shoves abortion rights -- and the states' ability to limit them -- back into the spotlight. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court Friday, and found constitutional a South Dakota law requiring that a pregnant woman be told she has an "existing relationship" with her fetus before going through with an abortion.

The court struck down one provision of the 2005 that required doctors to tell women that those who have had pregnancies aborted are more likely to commit suicide, a claim for which the court found no supporting evidence.

U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier ruled two ruled years ago that the law was unconstitutional. The state law mandates that an abortion provider tell a woman seeking an abortion that she "has has an existing relationship with that unborn human being and that the relationship enjoys protection under the United States Constitution and under the laws of South Dakota."

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