Law School Hosts Speech About Texas Abortion Law

Image Hannah Haksgaard Hannah Haksgaard, assistant professor of law.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota School of Law will observe Constitution Day with a lecture Thursday about the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned a Texas abortion law.

The free event is open to the public, starts at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 15 in the law school courtroom. Hannah Haksgaard, assistant professor of law, will present the lecture, entitled “Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt: The Supreme Court, Rural Women, and Developments in the Undue Burden Analysis.”

It will address the history and application of the legal test that applied to regulations that were challenged in recent cases, leading up to the decision in Hellerstedt. In that case, the Supreme Court ruled 5-3 that Texas cannot require doctors who perform abortions to have privileges at a nearby hospital and abortion clinics to have surgical facilities on site. Haksgaard will consider how the decision impacts questions of access for rural women, as well as the strategic choices that legal advocates on both sides of the debate may adopt in light of the Supreme Court ruling.

Federal law designates Sept. 17 as Constitution Day to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution.


USD’s School of Law prepares students for leadership in the administration of justice in South Dakota, including in rural areas where the demand is great, and for private practice, public service, business and other law-related endeavors anywhere. Its joint degree program allows students to also earn one of nine master’s degrees within the traditional three-year law curriculum, which includes course tracks in business, commercial, constitutional, criminal, employment, environmental, Indian, real estate and tax law as well as civil litigation and estate planning.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 198 undergraduate and 79 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of more than 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hailie Warren
USD News