by Steven Ertelt
February 15, 2007
Pierre, SD (LifeNews.com) — The state legislature is advancing a second attempt to ban abortions in South Dakota but a Senate committee killed other bills that would place limits on it. The Senate Judiciary Committee defeated legislation that would have prevented forced abortions and given women more information about abortion’s risks and alternatives.
The panel defeated SB 172, which would have required abortion practitioners to tell women contemplating an abortion that no one can force them into having one.
The measure would have also required a sign to be posted in any abortion business stating that fact.
"I want this sign to serve as an advocate on her behalf," Jenna Haggar, a lobbyist for South Dakota Right to Life, told the committee, according to the Argus Leader newspaper.
However, the panel defeated the bill after Kate Looby, state director for Planned Parenthood, which runs the state’s lone abortion business in Sioux Falls, ensured the committee that it already asks women repeatedly whether the decision to have an abortion is their own.
Meanwhile, lawmakers also defeated a bill that would have required allowing women to see a sonogram or ultrasound of their unborn child before the abortion. The state House had already approved the bill on a 43-24 vote.
The measure doesn’t mandate that women contemplating an abortion see an ultrasound but requires the abortion facility to allow them to do so. When used in crisis pregnancy centers, ultrasounds persuade most women to have their baby instead of an abortion.
Rep. Roger Hunt, a Republican who was one of the lead sponsors of the abortion ban in the state legislature last year, is the prime sponsor of HB 1296, the ultrasound measure.
"It clearly says that the abortion clinic must offer the opportunity to the woman to review the sonogram," Hunt said. "It does not say demand."
However, lobbying from the State Medical Association resulted in the bill’s defeat on a 5-2 vote.
Yesterday, the state House approved the state’s second attempt to ban abortion on a 45-25 vote.