by Steven Ertelt
February 24, 2006
Pierre, SD (LifeNews.com) — South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds is noncommittal on whether he would sign into law a ban on almost all abortions that the state legislature is about to send to his desk. Once the legislature puts its final touches on the bill, Rounds, who is pro-life, will have 15 days to sign or veto the legislation.
The last time lawmakers approved the abortion ban, Rounds issued a veto because the measure would have invalidated all of South Dakota’s pro-life laws limiting abortions while the pro-abortion legal challenge to the ban was tied up in court.
Rounds told the Rapid City Journal newspaper, his staff attorneys would be looking at the language of the ban this year to make sure that problem does not exist this time.
Meanwhile, in an interview with MSNBC, reporters asked the governor to provide a clue as to how he’d decide.
“I am pro-life, and I do know that my personal belief is that the best way to approach the elimination of abortion is one step at a time," he told the television network. "And I do think that this court will ultimately take apart Roe v. Wade one step at a time.”
According to the journal, Rounds told a news conference two weeks ago he would be favorably disposed to the bill if it addresses the concerns he had last time.
“Our goal is to save life. If the bills that are in question will do that, I will look favorably upon them,” the governor said. “My understanding is that they have tried to address the issues that we brought out two years ago.”
According to the Rapid City newspaper, Rounds said again that he would look for the same concerns.
“For us, we want to make sure the bill is in as good a form as possible if it gets that far, and we want to make sure we do not lose the safeguards currently in place for the regulation of abortion in South Dakota,” he said.
He also indicated he didn’t think the Supreme Court was ready to overturn Roe v. Wade, a concern shared by numerous other pro-life groups who say lawmakers rushed too soon to approve the legislation.
“Personally, do I think that they’re going to step in and do a frontal attack or accept a frontal attack? No, I don’t. But there are a lot of people in South Dakota and across the nation that believe that it’s worth a try," Rounds explained.
Rounds said he had not yet read the bill, which prohibits all abortions except those necessary to prevent the death of the mother, a very rare circumstance.
House Majority Leader Larry Rhoden told the Journal that the measure addresses the concerns the governor brought up last time.