South Dakota Abortion Activists Launch First TV Ad Against Abortion Ban

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 19, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

South Dakota Abortion Activists Launch First TV Ad Against Abortion Ban Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 19
, 2006

Pierre, SD ( — The ad wars in South Dakota over the state’s abortion ban have begun. Abortion advocates have launched a new television commercial blasting the ban, which prohibits virtually all abortions in the state, and pro-life advocates say the content of it is misleading.

The commercial claims that Referred Law 6 gives women who are victimized by rape and incest "no options" even though the measure does not prohibit women in such circumstances from using the morning after pill.

Since the state legislature approved the ban, the FDA has approved sales of the Plan B drug to anyone over the age of 18 at a local pharmacy without a prescription.

The abortion ban also does not restrict or limit medical care, treatment for possible sexually transmitted diseases, and care to help victims with mental health issues following such incidents.

Leslee Unruh, who heads up the pro-life group defending the abortion ban, told the Dakota Voice, "The opponents of Referred Law 6 are dishonest about the options available to rape and incest victims."

"Their message that abortion is the only option available to victims of rape and incest is dishonest. It is harmful to women who need to know the truth. They exploit those victims to protect the abortion industry," Unruh added.

Unruh also attacked the ad for saying that women with health problems would no longer have abortion as a medical option, even though abortions cause a myriad of medical and mental health issues and are not normally necessary to protect a woman’s health. Abortions in cases of the pregnancy threatening the life of the mother would still be legal.

"Again, on the issue of medical care for pregnant women with health problems, those who support legal abortion in South Dakota blur the truth to further their cause," Unruh told the Voice.

Unruh said the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families is trying to exploit women who have suffered sexual assault or serious health issues in order to protect the abortion industry in South Dakota. They are silent about the 95% of abortions that have nothing to do with rape and incest or the health of the mother, she said.

Jan Nicolay, the head of the pro-abortion South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families, talked about the ads last week. She indicated the ads will be helpful because her group isn’t as well organized as that of pro-life advocates.

"We’ve been trying to really work hard on the grass roots. We just need to identify people on our side," Nicolay told AP. She said it’s difficult to compete with pro-life groups, which have been organizing for decades.

She also indicated that fundraising has been more difficult than expected though she claims the plan was always to air television commercials later in the political season than most people expected.

Unruh’s group has been holding numerous grassroots rallies supporting the ban where hundreds of state residents have gathered.

The rape and incest arguments are important given the results of the most recent poll on the abortion ban.

A July poll found 47 percent of voters oppose the ban, 39 percent favor it and 14 percent are undecided.

The survey also asked voters how they would vote if the ban had included rape and incest exceptions. Under that scenario, 59 percent said they would vote for the ban, 29 percent would vote against the abortion ban and 12 percent were unsure how they would vote.

Related web sites:
Vote Yes for Life –