South Dakota House Approves Revised Abortion Ban, Heads to Senate

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 14, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

South Dakota House Approves Revised Abortion Ban, Heads to Senate Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 14
, 2007

Pierre, SD ( — The South Dakota state House approved the state’s second attempt to pass legislation to ban abortion. Voters rejected the first effort because the ban didn’t have rape and incest exceptions and a revised ban with those provisions received state House approval on a 45-25 vote Wednesday.

The new bill contains language that would require the measure be sent to voters on the next ballot for their consideration.

Polls before the November vote on the first ban showed state voters overwhelmingly would support an abortion ban with those rare exceptions.

However, to get on the ballot again, the second ban needs to get through the state Senate and be signed by Governor Mike Rounds, a pro-life Republican who signed the first one.

Rep. Gordon Howie a Republican from Rapid City, said the abortion ban protects women and the "innocent."

"The most innocent I speak of are the unborn children whose lives are terminated by the act of abortion. The most vulnerable are the women who are the living victims of abortion," he said, according to an AP report.

The bill is meant to be a direct challenge to the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade which toppled pro-life laws on abortion throughout the country.

HB1293 would allow abortions in the very rare exceptions and would put anyone doing an abortion in jail for up to 10 years.

Women seeking abortions in sexual abuse cases would first have to report the crime to authorities and allow a tissue sample to be sent to them to help track down the assailant. Doctors would have to confirm the report and obtain DNA evidence to help police track down the assailant.

Abortions in cases of rape and incest are very rare — accounting for less than one percent of all abortions according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute

Abortions in rape and incest cases would be allowed until the 17th week of pregnancy, under the bill.

Kate Looby, state director of Planned Parenthood in South Dakota, says her group is opposed to the bill and complained about the rape reporting provisions, saying they are too much of a burden for women who are victims.

Her group runs the only abortion center in the state, located in Sioux Falls

The House State Affairs Committee approved the bill on a 10-3 vote and added the provision sending it to voters.