South Dakota Governor Remains Opposed to Abortion Link on Web Site

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 6, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

South Dakota Governor Remains Opposed to Abortion Link on Web Site

by Maria Gallagher Staff Writer
August 6, 2004

Pierre, SD ( — South Dakota’s Governor is standing firm in his opposition to having a Planned Parenthood link on the state library’s website.

Gov. Mike Rounds said, however, that library board members could resume a special website for teens if the Internet links are age-appropriate. Rounds added that any links must be approved by state Education Secretary Rick Melmer. The Education Department oversees the state library.

Rounds said there may be no links to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion operation, or any other organization that is involved in political causes.

The Governor noted that state government and its web sites are paid for by taxpayers. He said it is inappropriate for tax money to be used for political purposes.

Last month, the Governor urged the library board to remove a state Internet link to Planned Parenthood’s Teenwire website. A few days later, Rounds decided to temporarily shut down the library’s entire web section for teens.

Non-controversial links, such as those to information on college entrance exams, should be restored soon, Rounds said. The Governor noted that all state agencies must follow state guidelines for website content and links.

The state director of Planned Parenthood denies that Teenwire is political in nature.

“It’s about providing factual information and helping teens make healthy choices,” South Dakota Planned Parenthood’s Kate Looby told the Associated Press.

However, a number of doctors nationwide object to the information Planned Parenthood gives to teens, noting that the organization minimizes the risks of abortion and underplays the development of the unborn child. Critics also note that abortions far outpace adoption referrals at Planned Parenthood facilities, indicating that the organization promotes abortion at the expense of women’s health.

A school librarian in Huron initially asked the library board to remove links to Planned Parenthood, but the board rejected the request in April.

The Governor learned of the controversy after the bishop of the Catholic diocese of Sioux Falls wrote a letter asking the Governor to intervene in the matter.

Related web sites:
South Dakota Governor’s Office –