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Abortion in the U.S.

South Dakota: 2006 anti-
abortion law and 2008 initiative

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Abortion in South Dakota:

About 825 abortions are performed yearly in South Dakota.

Bill HB 1215 was introduced into the legislature with the intent of triggering the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn of Roe v. Wade. It was signed into law by Governor Mike Rounds (R) 2006-MAR-06  

It criminalized almost all abortions in the state. Only abortions necessary to save the life of the woman were allowed. It containrd no exceptions to permit abortions in the case of rape or incest. It did not allow an exception to prevent serious and/or permanent disability to the woman.

The law prohibited termination of human life at any time after conception. That is, once conception has occurred, childbirth is compulsory, unless a miscarriage happens.  The wording of the law appears to be ambiguous on the topic of emergency contraception (EC). Arguments can be made that the law either criminalizes or allows EC. The section of the law that appears at first glance to permit EC may in fact be a stealth clause that prohibits it.

Normally, the law would have taken effect in 2006-JUL. However, pro-choice forces raised sufficient signatures to delay implementing the law until the public was able to vote on the issue during the mid-term elections on 2006-NOV-07. The law was defeated by a clear majority and is now dead in the water.

Pro-life groups then had Initiated Measure 11 on the 2008 ballot. It was more moderate than HB 1215; it had rape, incest, health and death clauses. It was also defeated by a clear majority of voters and is also dead in the water.

It appears that the pro-life groups in South Dakota miscalculated the mood of the state's voters. Their cause would have been better served by promoting legislation in a more conservative state whose electorate was less pro-choice.

Topics covered in this section:

bullet Introduction; passage of the South Dakota anti-abortion bill HB 1215:

bullet Reactions to the bill's passage

bullet Public reaction; Campaign; Public vote to suspend law

bullet Does the law permit or criminalize emergency contraception (EC)?
bullet Another try: Initiated Measure 11

Related essays on this web site:

bullet Anti-abortion bills in various states
bullet Laws restricting abortion in the U.S. and Canada
bullet Roe v. Wade: Its basis; court philosophies; political aspects
bullet The future battle over women's access to abortion; The impact if Roe v. Wade is overturned

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Copyright ? 2006 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2006-OCT-08
Author: B.A. Robinson

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