South Dakota: Save The Fetus and Flog the Mommy?


Abortion opponents are an interesting lot. For years, they have argued that all abortion is wrong as it involves the taking of a life. An inability to sway the public to embrace laws that would ban all abortions seems to be leading pro-lifers to adopt an incremental approach. South Dakota appears to be the battleground of choice.

In 2006, the residents of South Dakota rejected a ballot initiative that would have banned virtually all abortions except for those necessary to save the life of the mother. The measure was soundly rejected by 56 percent of South Dakota voters.

A new initiative appears to be headed for inclusion on the 2008 ballot in November. However, this new measure provides exceptions for rape, incest, and to protect the health of a woman.



When the 2006 initiative was drafted, many felt anti-abortion advocates were attempting to craft a law that would eventually reach the newly constituted…and presumably more conservative…U.S. Supreme Court.
Abortion opponents in South Dakota filed petitions this week that are likely to put an initiative on November’s ballot calling for a near-ban on abortion, renewing a contentious fight over a similar proposal in 2006.
The new language was drafted by South Dakota Attorney General Larry Long, state Rep. Roger W. Hunt (R) and 20 other lawyers. As with the 2006 initiative, passage would probably trigger a lawsuit that could end up before the U.S. Supreme Court and provide an opportunity to reconsider its 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.
“My job is to protect the women of South Dakota,” said Leslee Unruh, VoteYesForLife.com executive director. If abortion rights advocates “follow what they’ve done in the past, suing, they’ll probably sue on this one, as well. We’re prepared for that; we’ve done due diligence in the preparation for this law.”

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