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8th Circuit Vacates Injunction Against Pro-Life South Dakota Law Delivering Major Blow to Planned Parenthood, as ACLJ Successfully Defends Governor Noem


Jay Sekulow and Jordan Sekulow

October 7, 2022

2 min read

Pro Life



The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has just thrown out Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit against a pro-life South Dakota law in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs, vacating a preliminary injunction that had prevented the law from going into effect.

We and several other ACLJ attorneys have been representing Governor Kristi Noem and the state of South Dakota in this case, filing the State Appellant’s Brief.

As we’ve previously explained:

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. 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. 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. 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.

Now in one of the first major appellate court rulings since Dobbs, the Eighth Circuit has made the right decision refusing to continue blocking this pro-life law. The court’s order simply stated: “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. That means Planned Parenthood's challenge to the law has been successfully defeated.

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