South Dakota Abortion Ban Heads to Governor Rounds, Will Likely Sign It

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 25, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

South Dakota Abortion Ban Heads to Governor Rounds, Will Likely Sign It Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
February 25, 2006

Pierre, SD (LifeNews.com) — Lawmakers in the South Dakota legislature on Friday issued a final vote approving a bill to ban virtually all abortions in the state. Governor Mike Rounds, who is pro-life, has said he is "inclined" to sign the legislation.

"I’ve indicated I’m pro-life and I do believe abortion is wrong and that we should do everything we can to save lives. If this bill accomplishes that, then I am inclined to sign the bill into law," Rounds said.

When the state legislature previously sent him the abortion ban, Rounds issued a veto because the measure would have wiped all of South Dakota’s pro-life laws off the books while the legislation was tied up in court.

Rounds has indicated that staff attorneys are checking to make sure that isn’t the case this time and that there aren’t any other unintended problems that could occur.

Both sides expect Rounds to sign the bill and lawmakers say the problems he cited last time have been corrected.

Once the bill is signed, Kate Looby, state director of Planned Parenthood, which runs the only abortion business in the state, has said her group will immediately sue.

"There will be a small time lag as we prepare to take this to the court and ask for an injunction to prevent it from ever taking effect in South Dakota," she has said.

Lawmakers are preparing for the long court battle and are working on organizing a legal defense fund. They say an anonymous donor has pledged $1 million to help defend the bill and Rounds says pro-life citizens have already come to his office with donations to support it.

"We’ve had people stopping in our office trying to drop off checks to promote the defense of this legislation already," Rounds said, according to an AP report.

Once the lawsuit reaches the courts, lower courts are expected to follow the Roe v. Wade precedent and overturn the legislation. The key battle will be at the Supreme Court level — if the high court takes the case.

Pro-life groups are mixed on whether the legislation is jumping the gun.

Some say there are now four votes against Roe and there’s hope that another justice will retire between now and the 2008 presidential elections. Others say that’s unlikely and that a fifth vote against Roe should be in place before proceeding. Once the lawsuit reaches the courts, lower courts are expected to follow the Roe v. Wade precedent and overturn the legislation. The key battle will be at the Supreme Court level — if the high court takes the case.

Pro-life groups are mixed on whether the legislation is jumping the gun.

Some say there are now four votes against Roe and there’s hope that another justice will retire between now and the 2008 presidential elections. Others say that’s unlikely and that a fifth vote against Roe should be in place before proceeding.