South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and her administration are celebrating a major federal appeals court victory over Planned Parenthood.
On Friday, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a lower court’s injunction against a pro-life law in South Dakota while tossing out the abortion provider’s attempt to block the statute from taking effect.
The American Center for Law and Justice, which had worked with Gov. Noem and the state on their arguments, responded favorably to the ruling.
“Like so many abortion cases, this one started with Planned Parenthood challenging a state statute regulating abortion. While the case has been in court since May 2011, the litigation now focuses on one particular requirement: that women considering abortion first visit a pregnancy health center (PHC) before consenting to abortion,” the ACLJ noted in a statement.
“Planned Parenthood says the requirement is unconstitutional, and a federal district court judge in South Dakota granted a preliminary injunction against the requirement a month after the case was first filed. Pro-life PHCs intervened to defend the law, and what followed was nearly a decade of litigation, including a slew of motions, discovery (examining witnesses and documents), evidentiary declarations, and several amendments to the South Dakota statutes,” the legal organization continued.
“Finally, in December 2020, the state officials and the PHCs filed a joint motion to dissolve the injunction against the third-party counseling requirement. The district court denied that motion in August 2021, and the state officials and the PHCs all appealed,” said the statement.
“That’s when Governor Kristi Noem, along with state Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg and two other state officials, retained a team of ACLJ attorneys . . . to represent the state defendants on appeal,” it added.
The ruling said, “After review of the filings, this appeal is dismissed, and the preliminary injunction is vacated.”
“This is a key victory for life. In the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs, overruling the abortion right created in Roe v. Wade and modified in PP v. Casey, and in light of Planned Parenthood’s expressed desire to abandon its lawsuit in the South Dakota case, the Eighth Circuit has summarily vacated the preliminary injunction against the South Dakota law that we were helping the state defend and has dismissed the appeal,” the ACLJ’s statement noted further.
“That means Planned Parenthood’s challenge to the law has been successfully defeated.”
The ACLJ reported that the case is “devastating” for Planned Parenthood.
“There are sworn statements from former Planned Parenthood officials as well as admissions extracted from Planned Parenthood personnel in depositions. The picture this evidence paints is, to put it mildly, pretty ugly. For example, the evidence shows that, while many pregnant women who come to abortion providers are uncertain about abortion, Planned Parenthood basically assumes that every pregnant woman who walks in the door should get an abortion,” the organization said.