by Steven Ertelt
September 27, 2006
Pierre, SD (LifeNews.com) — Abortion advocates in South Dakota have introduced the second television commercial attacking a statewide ban that prohibits virtually all abortions there. The ad relies on their effort to persuade state residents that it should be rejected because it bans abortions in cases of rape or incest.
The new ad, sponsored by the pro-abortion South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families, features a family therapist talking with women who have been sexual abuse victims.
Joined by leading national pro-abortion activists, the group held a press conference in Washington to announce the new ad but would not say how much will be spent to air it. The group also plans to create more ads between now and the November elections.
"We are going to spend what it takes," said Kate Michelman, the former NARAL president, according to an AP report.
Nancy Keenan, the current NARAL president, said their efforts to defeat the abortion ban would be "tough but doable."
The latest ad begins on Thursday and features rape crisis counselor Mary Jones of Sioux Falls who says that rape and incest can cause "a tremendous sense of loss" and that abortion would make "a horrible situation worse."
"To be forced to carry out a pregnancy that will remind them everyday of their sexual assault is just a sentence that most of us just can’t comprehend," Jones says in the ad, according to AP.
But that’s not what victims of rape say.
Earlier this month, members of the Ad Hoc Committee of Women Pregnant by Sexual Assault (WPSA) said the actual voices of women who are raped and don’t want an abortion or regret one they had are left out of the debate.
"In virtually every case, those people who claim to represent our interests have never taken the time to actually listen to us or to learn about our true circumstances, needs, and concerns," the group writes in its petition.
"We are deeply offended and dismayed each time our difficult circumstances are exploited for public consumption to promote the political agenda of others," the group added.
Kathleen DeZeeuw, who gave birth to a boy after she was raped at the age of 16, says abortion advocates have used the issue of sexual assault pregnancy to push for abortion without considering the real needs of the women involved.
"I feel personally assaulted and insulted every time I hear that abortion should be legal because of rape and incest," she said.
"I feel we’re being used to further the abortion issue, even though we’ve never been asked to tell our side of the story," DeZeeuw added.
"Women who have gone through the trauma of rape or incest need to be counseled, cared for, and listened to," she explained. "A woman is most vulnerable at a time such as this and doesn’t need to be pounced on by yet another act of violence. She needs someone to truly listen to her, care for her, and give her time to heal."
Abortion advocates previously ran a commercial claiming 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.
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 – https://VoteYesForLife.com