Glenn Reynolds has an interesting bit on the upcoming vote on South Dakota’s abortion ban. I agree with him: the South Dakota Legislature made a grave mistake by not putting this up to a popular vote. The law is basically null anyway, were it to be enacted it would never even be granted certiorari by the Supreme Court – it would likely end up being quickly struck down by the Circuit Court and then left there. The chances of this poorly-crafted, poorly-worded, and draconian law ever providing any kind of real legal challenge to Roe v. Wade are slim to none.
The South Dakota Legislature, led on by a group of people for whom the term “fanatic” is perfectly appropriate, made a dire mistake in passing this atrocious bill, and Gov. Rounds should never have signed it into law. Not only is it a moot point, but it has set back the cause of ending abortion in this country by decades. A wise legislative body would have slowly encroached on abortion – regulating it in such a way as to eliminate the financial benefits it provides to groups like Planned Parenthood. However, the South Dakota Legislature is not known for having a great deal of either tact or wisdom.
I have a feeling that Professor Reynolds is right – this law shall be overturned by the voters of South Dakota, as well it should be. Its draconian attempts to restrict all abortions, including those in the cases of rape and incest, go against the sensibilities of even people who are uncomfortable with or opposed to abortion. More innocent lives could be saved by an incremental approach – but fanatics aren’t known for their love of incrementalism. In the end, they have not only failed to achieve their objectives, but they’ve probably lost ground on this issue. Even though I am opposed to abortions except in the most extreme of cases, the South Dakota abortion bad is simply bad law, and should be voted down.