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SD Senate panel approves longer abortion wait

PIERRE (AP) -- A South Dakota Senate committee has approved a bill that could require some women seeking abortions to wait longer after first seeing an abortion clinic doctor.

South Dakota already has the nation's longest waiting period at three days. The State Affairs Committee voted 6-3 Wednesday to approve a measure providing that Saturdays, Sundays and holidays would not count in calculating that three-day wait.

The bill would change provisions of a 2011 law that established the three-day waiting period and required women seeking abortions to first undergo counseling at pregnancy help centers, which discourage abortion.

Planned Parenthood, which operates the only abortion clinic in the state in Sioux Falls, challenged the law in court. Planned Parenthood recently withdrew its appeal of the three-day wait, but is still challenging the counseling requirement.