Document Type


First Page



On July 24, 2012, in Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota v. Rounds, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, sitting en banc, considered the constitutionality of a suicide advisory portion of a South Dakota statute that required informed consent for abortions. The Eight Circuit found the advisory was constitutional because the information disclosures required by the statute were truthful, nonmisleading, and relevant to the patient’s decision to have an abortion. The court relied in part on the Supreme Court’s 2007 decision Gonzales v. Carhart, which held that Congress has the authority to legislate in the abortion context, even in areas of medical uncertainty. The Eighth Circuit, however, misapplied the reasoning of Gonzales and dangerously minimized the standard for scientific evidence in informed consent laws.