It’s a simple proposition, borne out by research: The best way to prevent a woman from accessing an abortion is to leave her with few or no places to get one. They know it in Mississippi, where the last clinic is famously fighting to stay open, but where for years a growing number of women — the ones who can — have already been going out of state to get an abortion. And they know it in the Dakotas, where both North and South have been, with far less fanfare, busily passing bills that would essentially rid the state of abortion access.
In South Dakota, voters have twice refused to ban abortion. That hasn’t stopped the state’s legislature from enacting some of the most imaginatively restrictive laws around the procedure, including an attempt to force women to visit crisis pregnancy centers to talk them out of their decision, a requirement to say that abortion increases the risk of suicide in contravention of evidence, and the nation’s longest waiting period, at 72 hours.