February 23, 2006

South Dakota Legislature Bans Abortion

News Release

Pierre, SD - Yesterday the South Dakota Senate voted to ban most abortions. HB 1215 passed the Senate by a vote of 23-12. A similar bill passed the House by a vote of 47-22. The bill will now go back to the House to approve a few changes made by the Senate, and from there the bill will go to Governor Mike Rounds for signature.

Section 1 of the bill states that "life begins at the time of conception, a conclusion confirmed by scientific advances since the 1973 decision of Roe v. Wade, including the fact that each human being is totally unique immediately at fertilization." The bill goes on to say that "to fully protect the rights, interests, and health of the pregnant mother, the rights, interest, and life of her unborn child, and the mother's fundamental natural intrinsic right to a relationship with her child, abortions in South Dakota should be prohibited." The bill also says that the "guarantee of due process of law under the Constitution of South Dakota applies equally to born and unborn human beings, and that under the Constitution of South Dakota, a pregnant mother and her unborn child, each possess a natural and inalienable right to life."

HB 1215 bans abortions except in cases where it is necessary to save the mother's life. The bill makes no exception for health, rape or incest. The bill prohibits both chemical and surgical abortions but does not apply to contraceptive measures or to unintentional death to the unborn child.

Mathew D. Staver, President and General Counsel of Liberty Counsel, commented on these developments: "Abortion is the low point in the history of America. A nation that prides itself on liberty has neglected to extend the most basic liberty to the most innocent and defenseless among us. The right to life is the right of all rights. Without the right to life, there is no liberty. In the not too distant future, I believe that the Supreme Court will rectify the worst decision it ever made. The life span of Roe v. Wade and its progeny is waning. One day we will look back on this time of history since 1973 with shame and sorrow."

Read the report upon which the legislature relied.

SD Abortion Ban Discussion on MSNBC

I will be a guest on the Abrams Report on MSNBC today to talk about the South Dakota abortion ban. The opposing viewpoint will be presented by Brigette Amiri, a staff attorney for the ACLU's Reproductive Freedom Project. The show is scheduled to air at 4:00 p.m. today and will re-air at 6 p.m. Transcripts will be available on the MSNBC web site within 24 hours.

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