South Dakota Poll Shows Abortion Ban Trailing by 9 Points

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 3, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

South Dakota Poll Shows Abortion Ban Trailing by 9 Points Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 3
, 2006

Pierre, SD ( — Another new poll concerning the South Dakota abortion ban finds it trailing by 9 percentage points. That’s similar to a poll earlier this week which showed the ban, which prohibits abortions in all cases except to save the life of the mother, down 10 percent.

The latest survey, by the Maryland-based firm Research 2000, was conducted earlier this week for Sioux Falls television station KELO.

The poll found Referred Law 6 behind with 50 percent of voters opposing it and 41 percent backing it. Nine percent of state voters are still undecided.

In the earlier poll, sponsored by the Argus Leader newspaper, the abortion ban trailed 52-42 with six percent of voters not having made up their minds.

The new survey tabulated the opinions of 800 registered voters, but most polls this close to the election typically look only at likely voters. That means that pro-life advocates need to work overtime this week to turn out every pro-life voter in order to have a chance at winning on Tuesday.

The new KELO poll found Republicans favor the ban by a 57 to 36 percentage margin while Democrats opposed it by a more strenuous 68-21 point spread.

As every previous poll has shown, the new survey found that voters would be more inclined to support the abortion ban if it included exceptions for rape and incest, with 58 percent saying they would support such a ban and 30 percent saying they would not.

Such exceptions have been a huge part of the South Dakota abortion ban debate as pro-life advocates have been trying to make the case to voters that nothing in the ban prevents women who are raped from taking the morning after pill or seeking medical treatment other than abortion.

However, 54 percent of those polled said they didn’t think the ban included rape and incest exceptions for victims of sexual abuse while 36 percent said yes and 10 percent were unsure.

The pro-life Vote Yes for Life campaign, which supports the state’s abortion ban, has outraised abortion advocates.

The pro-life campaign reported receiving nearly $2.2 million in donations from June 28 through Oct. 28 while the pro-abortion South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families raised about $1.8 million during the time period.

Abortion advocates said about $160,000 of the $1.8 million it raised came from state residents and the rest came from donors outside the state.

However, Vote Yes for Life said about 65% of its campaign contributions of more than $100 came from people and groups in South Dakota.

Planned Parenthood, which runs the lone abortion business in the state, raised more than $626,000 to defeat the abortion ban and gave $325,000 of the money it raised to the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families.

Meanwhile, a long-distance telephone company called Working Assets, set up to help abortion advocates give money to pro-abortion groups through their phone usage, raised more than $119,000 to defeat the abortion ban. It donated $92,000 to the pro-abortion campaign group.

The Republican majority for Choice also donated $17,000 to the SDCHF campaign.

Leslee Unruh, the head of Vote Yes for Life, the pro-life group backing the abortion ban, says the new survey doesn’t worry her about next week’s results.

“The only poll that counts is on election day and we intend to win,” Unruh said in a statement sent to “Frankly, we have seen many other private polls that show this contest is a dead heat.”

Related web sites:
Vote Yes for Life –