South Dakota Task Force Suggests Reversing Roe, More Abortion Limits

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 13, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

South Dakota Task Force Suggests Reversing Roe, More Abortion Limits

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 13, 2005

Pierre, SD ( — A task force authorized by the state legislature to examine the issue of abortion in South Dakota and determine what legislative steps should be taken about it has recommended more laws to limit abortions there.

Following a contentious meeting, a majority of the task force voted to say that the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling was flawed because the high court did not have access to modern medicine to reveal the humanity of the unborn child.

The 72-page draft report recommends the Supreme Court reverse its landmark decision.

Meanwhile, the panel suggests South Dakota lawmakers should require abortion businesses to make sure women have complete information about abortion’s risks and alternatives before having one.

The debate between pro-life and pro-abortion members of the panel prior to the vote caused abortion advocates to walk out of Friday’s final meeting, the Associated Press reports. They said pro-life members of the panel voting against their proposals claming to reduce abortions.

Sen. Stan Adelstein, a Rapid City Republican claimed the document favored a Christian view of abortion and he said he left the meeting when the panel voted against pro-abortion changes without a discussion.

"That’s when I hit the ceiling," Adelstein told The Associated Press on Monday. "The report is theologically based, has patent untruths and misrepresentations, and no reasonable attention was paid to any amendments."

But Rep. Roger Hunt, a Republican from Brandon, told AP that the report is a very serious attempt to help women make better decisions when confronted with an unexpected pregnancy.

"I think that has a lot of merit," Hunt said. "I think it’ll help point the Legislature toward legislation that is on a firm factual basis."

Maria Bell of Sioux Falls, vice chair of the task force, was one of the members who walked out and she told AP that the task force’s majority didn’t take into account testimony it received.

However, some witnesses who had abortions and regretted their decision said they sometimes never see the abortion practitioner before the abortion. That’s in part because abortion facilities can choose any staff person to give the information to women that’s currently required by law.

A possible bill would require abortion businesses to allow women to see ultrasound images of their unborn children. Women considering an abortion do this, they very often decide against having one.
The state’s only abortion facility, a Planned Parenthood abortion center in Sioux Falls, says it already tells women they can see an ultrasound of their baby before the abortion. Some do and some don’t, it told the Associated Press.

Currently, about 800 abortions are performed annually in South Dakota.