South Dakota Lawmakers Defeat Abortion Ban, Approve Parental Notification

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 14, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

South Dakota Lawmakers Defeat Abortion Ban, Approve Parental Notification

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 14, 2005

Pierre, SD ( — South Dakota lawmakers voted against a bill to ban all abortions in the state saying that it wouldn’t yet succeed at the Supreme Court. Instead, lawmakers favor a slew of other bills that will limit abortions until Roe v. Wade is overturned.

The Senate State Affairs Committee voted 7-2 on Monday against the abortion ban. The bill would have made abortions illegal unless necessary to prevent the death of the mother or in cases when her heath was in grave risk.

"It was a great bill last year," Sen. Frank Kloucek, a Democrat and the bill sponsor, said. "It’s an even better bill this year. This is the right time."

Kloucek said his bill fixed a concern Gov. Mike Rounds has last year when he issued a technical veto that the legislature was unable to override.

Sen. Lee Schoenbeck, a Republican who sponsored the abortion ban last year, said lawmakers were concerned that the bill would be declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court and add to the pro-Roe case law.

South Dakota citizens would also likely have to foot the bill for pro-abortion attorneys if they won the case.

Last year’s abortion ban split pro-life advocates in the state with some backing it and some oppose. Schoenbeck said pro-life groups needed to unify this year on a package of bills to limit abortion.

"It’s important this year to have a united, bipartisan approach that I hope will make an incremental difference," he said. "We’re going to have our day."

After defeating the bill, the committee approved SB193, a measure to tighten parental notification requirements.

Last week, South Dakota lawmakers approved three pro-life bills.

Two bills sailed through by wide margins in the state House and now head to the state Senate for consideration while a committee approved a ban on abortions.

One bill would ensure that women are provided proper information by the state’s lone abortion facility on abortion’s risks and dangers as well as alternatives. Another bill would create a 15-member panel that would study how abortion affects women.

The State Affairs Committee approved legislation that would ban abortions in the state should the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision allowing them be overturned.

HB 1249 would make it a felony to perform abortions unless needed to prevent the death of the mother. Abortion practitioners would face two years in prison and a $2,000 fine under the measure.

Rachel Hansen of the South Dakota Right to Life Committee, helped write the measure and Rob Regier of the South Dakota Family Policy Council said his group supports it as well.

Kate Looby of Planned Parenthood and Jennifer Ring of the American Civil Liberties Union opposed the legislation.

HB 1166, the abortion information bill, passed 58-10 while HB 1233, the abortion study measure, cleared the House 60-8.

In 2002, 826 abortions were performed in South Dakota and the Planned Parenthood business in Sioux Falls performed 815 of them.

Related web sites:
South Dakota Right to Life –