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Indybay Feature
Thu Feb 23 2006
South Dakota Bans Abortion
State of South Dakota Says, No Abortions After Rape; Bill Goes to Governor
March 6th Update: South Dakota's governor today signed into law a ban on abortion in that state. The governor said that he expects that the law will be disputed in court and would not be allowed to take effect in July, as had been planned.

Both houses of the South Dakota legislature passed HB 1215 on February 22nd, agreeing to ban abortion. The law does not make exceptions for women who seek abortions due to rape, incest, or threats to their health. The Senate decided after debate that the only abortions that would be allowed in South Dakota would be those that are needed to save a woman's life. Also rejected was an effort to allow South Dakotans to decide the question in a referendum, and an effort to prevent state tax dollars from financing what is certain to be a long and expensive court battle.

The bill now goes to anti-choice Governor Mike Rounds, who will have 15 days to make his decision about signing. Although he has not indicated whether he will sign the bill, Rounds has said, “[a]bortion . . . should always be illegal.” However, he also said that he was uncertain if now was the right time for a "full frontal attack" on Roe v. Wade, as opposed to pressing for more laws that restrict abortions — limiting timing, methods, or the requirements for parental notification. The president of NARAL Pro-Choice America said, “South Dakotans who cherish the fundamental American values of freedom and personal responsibility must call on Gov. Rounds to veto this egregious legislation. We should work to reduce the need for abortion, not continue to battle about Roe v. Wade.”

Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and Planned Parenthood Minnesota North Dakota South Dakota (PPMNS) denounced the South Dakota Senate's vote to ban abortion, and announced that they will fight the ban in court to protect Planned Parenthood patients. Tennessee faces similar legislation this week: Tennessee IMC coverage

Statements from Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America | NY Times article and Indybay readers' comments
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