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Thursday, August 16, 2012

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a South Dakota statute which makes abortionists tell women abortion exposes them to increased risk for "depression and related psychological distress," and "increased risk of suicidal ideation [thoughts] and suicide."

This is the third major victory where a lower court explicitly uses the portion of the Supreme Court's opinion based on the testimony of Operation Outcry women in reaching its conclusion that a statute should be upheld. That makes four major victories including the original Supreme Court decision, Gonzalez v. Carhart.

Here is the critical quote from the 8th Circuit Court:
Based on the record, the studies submitted by the State are sufficiently reliable to support the truth of the proposition that the relative risk of suicide and suicide ideation [Ed. - thoughts] is higher for women who abort their pregnancies compared to women who give birth or have not become pregnant. It also is worth noting that Planned Parenthood does not challenge the disclosure that "[d]epression and related psychological distress" is a "known medical risk[] of the [abortion] procedure." S.D.C.L. § 34-23A-10.1(1)(e)(i); see also Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124, 159

(2007) (noting that "[s]evere depression and loss of esteem can follow" an abortion). As a matter of common sense, the onset of depression and psychological distress also would increase one's risk of suicide and suicide ideation. See, e.g., Ottar Bjerkesetet al., Gender Differences in the Association of Mixed Anxiety and Depression with Suicide, 192 Brit. J. Psychiatry 474, 474 (2008) ("Depression is thought to be the most important antecedent of suicide . . . ."). Thus, there appears to be little dispute about the truthfulness of the required disclosure
In the Gonzales v. Carhart decision cited above by the 8th Circuit, the Supreme Court cited p. 22-24 of The Justice Foundation's Brief on Behalf of Sandra Cano and 180 Women Hurt By Abortion, which included the Operation Outcry women's testimony.

Click here to read the full Opinion. (A bit long, but a good discussion of the scientific literature.)

Planned Parenthood has 90 days to decide if they want to take the case to the United States Supreme Court. Earlier in this case, OO filed an Amicus Brief with the 8th Circuit Court on behalf of 2,211 Operation Outcry Women Hurt by Abortion, which the Court should have and probably read, but did not accept for filing. They also rejected the Amicus Brief of the American Psychological Association contending women are not hurt by abortion.

...Thanks and credit go to Harold Cassidy, Attorney, and clients, Alpha Center (and especially leader Leslie Unruh); Black Hills Crisis Pregnancy Center, doing business as Care Net; Dr. Glen A. Ridder, M.D.; Eleanor D. Larsen, M.A., L.S.W.A.. Credit and honor is also due to the Governor, Attorney General, and Legislature of South Dakota.

To read more about the prior three victories, click here. If you know someone hurt by abortion, they may fill out a declaration at

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