South Dakota’s Abortion Ban

The South Dakota Senate has voted to ban nearly all abortions in the state in a deliberate effort to challenge Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court.

This bill will fail in its objectives.

In fact, my prediction is that this stunt will be quickly overturned in the federal Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court will deny certiorari in this case, ensuring that the law is thrown out. I don’t see the Court as being willing to deal with Roe in such a head-on manner. Even if this law makes it all the way to the Supreme Court, I’m not entirely sure that Roe would be overturned.

This is a stunt, pure and simple. It is a stunt that was done rashly, without consideration, and will cost the state of South Dakota millions in legal fees. Gov. Rounds should veto this bill when it reaches his desk.

I consider myself pro-life. I believe that all innocent life should be treated with the utmost respect. At the same time, any bill that tries to override the judgment of physicians on issues of the health of the mother or does not make exceptions in the cases of rape or incest is not a reasonable bill. The radicals who pushed for this bill represent a minority of even those who are opposed to abortion. The proper place for the abortion battle is not in the political realm but in the personal and moral realm. Abortion should always be a “choice” of absolute last resort when all other options have failed, and the money spend by radical anti-abortion groups would be far better spent education women on the physical and emotional risks of abortion, providing pre- and post-natal care for mothers who would otherwise be forced into abortion, and encouraging more effective adoption laws. Trying to push an abortion ban down the throats of the American public is the same mistake that has led to three decades of acrimony over the issue – and will only push those on the fence over this issue towards the side of supporting the malignant practice. The real battlfield on this issue should be the hearts and minds of the American people, not the courtroom.

18 thoughts on “South Dakota’s Abortion Ban

  1. Considering that Survey USA’s state-by-state poll towards abortion attitudes showed South Dakota as evenly divided with a plurality leaning pro-choice, this stunt could ultimately shakeup SD’s decades-long one-party domination of government. If these guys aren’t careful, they could suffer a fate similar to the Dover School Board in Pennsylvania.

    It would be a nice experiment if a number of adjoining states banned abortion, and the inevitable underground abortion culture was reborn at tremendous expense to local and state governments. Most likely, the soft soldiers in the anti-abortion movement would quickly buckle when the consequences of prohibition smacked them upside the head. But since I doubt that the Roberts-Alito court has any interest in overturning Roe v. Wade, it’s probably a moot point.

  2. Considering that Survey USA’s state-by-state poll towards abortion attitudes showed South Dakota as evenly divided with a plurality leaning pro-choice, this stunt could ultimately shakeup SD’s decades-long one-party domination of government.

    If only… this is the state where Bill Janklow could consume a mewling infant live on TV and still get elected. Plus Mike Rounds is one of the most popular governors in the country.

    South Dakota needs a shakeup at the state level, but I doubt that will happen until Bill Janklow is in his Cadillac speeding through the deeper circles of Hell…

  3. Rounds will get re-elected, but how about some of the Sioux Falls-area Republican legislators pushing this stunt when the price tag of the legal fees start to surface? I could see some otherwise non-vulnerable incumbents being made vulnerable here.

  4. Did you guys hear that some anonymous private donor has offered $1mil to defend the law? Privately subsidized faith-based legislation. Only in SD.

    Meanwhile our schools are horribly underfunded and our teachers are paid the lowest amount in all the nation. So this law essentially guarantees that there will be more children who receive substandard educations. Great idea.

    I completely support this state’s or any state’s right to prohibit abortion. I think Roe is bad law and abortion is a state’s rights issue.

    But, for the love of God (and the children), can’t we be consistent? Why do we care more about the unborn than the born? Can’t we at least care about them equally? Is it not inconsistent and hypocritical to be tolerant of underfunded schools but intolerant of fetus killing? (I don’t know if it’s a ‘person’ or ‘human being’ or not, and I don’t think ANYONE knows for certain. It’s a moral and philosophical question, not a scientific one. That this law is purportedly based on science is a total sham.)

  5. “The real battlfield on this issue should be the hearts and minds of the American people, not the courtroom.”

    Agreed, and I think that is what the bill is trying to accomplish: getting the matter returned to the states to decide instead of letting nine (or five) people decide for the nation as a whole. Overturning Roe v. Wade won’t outlaw abortion but will allow the people to vote one way or another – and to even change their minds later.

    I also don’t think that, if SD is successful, the state will be swamped in unwanted children. Abortion is practically non-existent in SD already (just one clinic providing this “service”, I read) and the population seems to be figuring it out.

  6. What will really make rational people recoil at this bill is the lack of exemption for women who were raped. People dealing with a full deck wouldn’t want to see their 16-year-old daughter get raped and then forced by the police state to carry a bastard child inside of them for nine months. The anti-abortion movement will destroy itself if they fail to make that compromise like the South Dakota Legislature refused to.

  7. Will:

    Despite the cries that SD’s schools are underfunded, I know from experience (13 years of it) that SD’s schools, or at least the Sioux Falls school district, are better than many in the nation with considerably more funding. Our teachers may not make much, but then again, cost of living in South Dakota is rock bottom.

    Night Writer:

    I agree that abortion should be a states rights issue, but given how strapped South Dakota is for money right now, it’s hard to justify spending it on a costly and likely fruitless legal battle. On top of that, this bill bans all abortion, with no clause for health concerns, rape, or incest. Few South Dakotans- barely 25%- support such a complete ban. While I would like to see Roe v. Wade overturned so that states can determine this issue for themselves, couldn’t we leave this battle to a state with more money to throw at the problem?

    (Heh, I still talk like I live in South Dakota. When you spend 23 years of your life in a place, it grows on you… 😉 )

  8. Night, take it up with the American people. Tell them you want their raped daughters to carry the rapist’s spawn inside of them for nine months and see how much support you get.

  9. Its about time for the Congress to void any jurisdiction the courts have on this and many other issues. This remains a issue for the voters and the legislatures and not the imperial judiciary.

  10. I don’t believe Congress can void jurisdiction. But I’m only a biologist, what do I know?

    No, this remains an issue that isn’t any of your business. I don’t view the medical procedures other people undergo as any of my concern. It would be fantastic if birth control was so effective, cheap, easy to use, and easy to obtain that every single pregnancy was wanted. It would be fantastic if we had health and child care for all the women who want children but feel like they can’t have any. But that’s not the world we live in. Every now and then, birth control fails even if you use it properly. Sometimes people make mistakes. Sometimes you want a child, and then something drastic changes and you don’t want it. Sometimes you just don’t want a child. Sometimes you shouldn’t get pregnant for health reasons. Sometimes you don’t want to be pregnant and give birth. None of these things are a crime. None of these things make you stupid, selfish, or slutty. It is not shameful to desire autonomy over your body and future.

    I don’t like this concept of innocence, because what they mean is “lacking sin”. The mother has had 20 years to accumulate sin, because like mercury, it bioaccumulates. The fetus, however, only has the sin that it inherited from its parents. Sin must be linked to the X chromasome, because women have lots more original sin. This is one of the biggest piles of bullshit I’ve ever encountered.

  11. Erica, keep in mind that the endgame of those who wish to criminalize abortion is to also criminalize birth control. In their minds, birth control is abortion…..and every woman who has ever popped the Pill and every guy who has ever worn a condom is a cold-blooded murderer for failing to let that sperm swim into the egg “as God intended.”

  12. It’s more of the Righteous Right inflicting their morality onto us. They view any sex that isn’t Jesus-sanctioned baby-making sex as a big dirty sin. Therefore anything that makes it easier to have big dirty sin sex (like birth control) is bad. They view unwanted pregnancy and STDs as a punishment for big dirty sin sex. That’s the reason they’ve been trying to stop people from getting their hands on the HPV vaccine. It doesn’t matter that HPV causes cervical cancer that sterilizes and kills women, because the women that get it are obviously sluts and deserve it. Right now the threat of HPV is apparently scaring would-be sluts into keeping their legs closed. But if they were vaccinated, they would just go out and have lots of big dirty sin sex. And that would make Jesus angry.

  13. Women who are pregnant by rape will be forced to bear the rapists “spawn”.
    Every now and then birth control fails.
    Sometimes people make mistakes.
    Sometimes you want a child and then decide you don’t.
    Sometimes you don’t want a child.
    Sometimes you don’t want to be pregnant.

    All of these are possible. Which of these, however, is the fault of the baby? Which is justification that the baby pay the price? For all the caricatures and generalizations that both sides find so amusing to heap on the other, at the bottom of it all a life is at stake. Wanted and unwanted pregnancies pose hardships on the mother, no doubt. Both raising a child or giving one up for adoption is very difficult. Some children grow up in horrible circumstances or with handicaps. All can and have been overcome, but not dying by abortion. Are any of these circumstances truly a fate worse than death?

    I know what a baby looks like at five weeks gestation. Today’s 4D imaging technology also provides even clearer pictures at each stage of development. I can come to no other conclusion but that this is indeed a human life, touched by the Divine or not as you wish. Beyond this all arguments from any perspective, no matter how heart-pounding or ear-tickling, are secondary. Peace be upon you all.

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  15. I think it’s time we complain to the DNC about Democrats who don’t support a woman’s right to choose. For instance, the six senators in South Dakota who voted to ban all abortions, even for rape and incest and health reasons. It was a Democrat who introduced the bill in the first place!

    Also, serious consideration needs to be given as to whether you send money to the DNC. Remember money to the DNC is given to the state parties to support candidates such as these six senators and the Democratic senator in Mississippi who just introduced legislation to ban abortion. Your money would be better spent going to a candidate directly that you know supports the right to choose.

    The Democratic Party takes us for granted because they say we have no place to go…as I just heard from a DNC staffer. It is time the Democrats who do no support abortion rights be punished. It is time for them to leave the party.

    Go to their website and fire off a letter…

    or better yet, pick up the phone and call them (be prepared to wait….)


    Call South Dakota Democratic Party


    write South Dakota Democratic Party

  16. Purely given the fact that this law does not make exceptions in the cases of rape or incest is ludicrous, and I will not support it. It’s unbelievable to me that an “educated” committee passed and signed this action. I feel sorry for anyone that is affected by this action in this way.

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