South Dakota Abortion Ban Gets Ballot Explanation for November Vote

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 11, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

South Dakota Abortion Ban Gets Ballot Explanation for November Vote Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 11, 2006

Pierre, SD ( — South Dakota Attorney General Larry Long has released the official explanation of the referendum on the state’s abortion ban that voters will see on the ballot this November when they go to the polls to vote. The explanation mentions that the ban could be challenged in courts if state voters uphold it and pro-life advocates would like to have seen different language.

When South Dakota lawmakers approved the abortion ban, Planned Parenthood, which runs the only abortion business in the state, could have taken the law to court as it normally does.

Instead, it decided to take the ban to the polls with the hope of defeating it and avoiding a court battle that could eventually be used to try to overturn Roe v. Wade at the Supreme Court.

If Planned Parenthood loses at the polls, the pro-abortion group can still take the abortion ban to court and file a lawsuit seeking to prevent it from being enforced.

Long’s ballot explanation refers to this potential court battle. And, as is the case for all of the ballot proposals voters will consider, the attorney general’s explanation appears on the ballot — not the actual language of the proposal.

Long’s explanation also says that the abortion ban could be declared unconstitutional in courts, if challenged. It further says that the state could be obligated to pay for the attorney fees for pro-abortion lawyers from Planned Parenthood if it loses the case.

The explanation could turn off voters to Referred Law 6, as the abortion ban will appear on the ballot.

Leslee Unruh, who is heading up the campaign to support the abortion ban, told KELO-TV that she would have "tweaked" the wording and written it differently. However, she doubts there is anything her group can do to change Long’s explanation.

Unruh said her campaign would inform voters that a fund has been established to help pay for attorney fees so that shouldn’t be a concern.

Yesterday, the first financial reports from groups on both sides of the abortion debate were announced.

The pro-abortion South Dakota Campaign For Healthy Families had raised $116,000 through June 28, with much of their funds coming from out of state. The group established to support the abortion ban at the November polls, South Dakotans for 1215, has raised $88,095 so far.

Unruh says she thinks state residents will support the abortion ban.

“The science shows that abortion hurts women and kills a living human life,” she said in a statement provided to “That is why the Women’s Health and Human Life Protection Act was passed; why South Dakotans will vote yes on Referred Law 6.”

South Dakota lawmakers approved the abortion ban earlier this year and it would prohibit abortions in all cases unless necessary to save the life of the mother.

Related web sites:
South Dakotans for 1215 –