South Dakota Lawmakers Prepare New Abortion Ban After Last Failed

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 30, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

South Dakota Lawmakers Prepare New Abortion Ban After Last Failed

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 30
, 2007

Pierre, SD ( — South Dakota lawmakers are preparing another statewide ban on abortions after voters turned back the last abortion ban at the polls. The previous prohibition would allow abortions only when necessary to save a mother’s life and the new ban would add rape and incest exceptions to that.

Though voters defeated the abortion ban by a 56 to 44 percent margin, polls consistently showed that a ban that allowed abortions in the very rare cases of rape and incest would get voter approval.

Rep. Mary Glenski, a Sioux Falls Democrat, joined several other legislators at a press conference at the state capitol to announce the new bill.

"I feel a real responsibility to try and respond to what the voters told us after the election," Glenski told the Sioux Falls Journal newspaper. "Many people said the lack of exceptions was the reason they voted against last year’s bill."

"It will definitely reduce the number of abortions in South Dakota," Glenski added.

With statistics from the Alan Guttmacher Institute showing that less than two percent of all abortions are done to save a mother’s life or for rape or incest, about 98 percent of the 800 abortions done annually in South Dakota would be banned.

The measure is expected to be introduced today but it will be vigorously opposed by Planned Parenthood, which runs the state’s lone abortion business in Sioux Falls.

"The people of this state told the government that they shouldn’t be involved in these intensely personal and very difficult private family issues," Kate Looby, state director of Planned Parenthood in South Dakota, told the Associated Press.

Republican Gov. Mike Rounds said he had not seen the bill and couldn’t comment on whether he would sign it as he signed the abortion ban last time.

Meanwhile, Sen. Brock Greenfield, also the head of South Dakota Right to Life, is proposing two other bills that would put more abortion limits in place.

He is sponsoring SB172, which would require abortion practitioners to tell women considering an abortion that it is against the law for anyone to pressure them to have an abortion.

SB 171 would also require abortion businesses to post signs saying that forcing or pressuring a woman to have an abortion is illegal.