Media Contact

Janna Farley,

January 24, 2019

The ACLU of South Dakota opposes Senate Bill 6, a bill that would require a physician to show a woman a sonogram of the fetus and force her to hear its heartbeat, if it is present, before performing an abortion. Senate Bill 6 is scheduled to be heard in front of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee tomorrow morning.

Current South Dakota law already requires a physician to offer “the pregnant woman an opportunity to view a sonogram of her unborn child” prior to performing the abortion.

Libby Skarin, policy director of the ACLU of South Dakota, released the following statement:

“The decision to have an abortion is deeply personal and private and best left to a woman, her family and her doctor. It’s clear that this bill is motivated by a desire to coerce and intimidate women who have already made a very private medical decision, one that is protected under the U.S. Constitution, and it’s disappointing that South Dakota politicians continue to try to insert themselves into the patient-doctor relationship.

“The ACLU of South Dakota works to ensure that every woman can make the best decision for herself and her family about whether and when to start a family without undue political interference. We’re currently looking at the constitutionality of this bill and whether or not it could be challenged in court if signed into law.”


About the ACLU of South Dakota

Decisions made during the annual sessions of the South Dakota Legislature have a deep and lasting impact on our state’s people and communities. As new laws are created and others repealed or written, it’s important to ensure that these changes preserve and strengthen our constitutional rights.

The American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota is a non-partisan organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU believes freedoms of press, speech, assembly, and religion, and the rights to due process, equal protection, and privacy are fundamental to a free people. In addition, the ACLU seeks to advance constitutional protections for groups traditionally denied their rights, including people of color, women, and the LGBT communities. The ACLU of South Dakota carries out its work through selective litigation, lobbying at the state and local level, and through public education and awareness of what the Bill of Rights means for people of South Dakota.

For up-to-date information on the bills the ACLU of South Dakota is tracking, go to



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