by Steven Ertelt
February 20, 2007
Pierre, SD (LifeNews.com) — A bill that would be South Dakota’s second attempt to ban abortions there will get a hearing in a state Senate committee on Wednesday. Last week, the state House approved the ban, which added rape and incest exceptions, on a lopsided margin.
The Senate State Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on HB 1293 and the bill is not expected to have as easy of time getting through the committee or the full Senate.
The House passed the legislation 45-25 but some senators are tired of debating abortion and think voters don’t want to have to decide on another abortion ban in 2008.
State voters considered a ban last November that prohibited all abortions except those to save the life of the mother. Although the ban failed, polls showed that voters would overwhelmingly support one with rape and incest exceptions — so legislators crafted a revised ban with them.
The new bill also contains language that would require the measure be sent to voters on the next ballot for their consideration.
The ban now needs to get through the state Senate and be signed by Governor Mike Rounds, a pro-life Republican who signed the first one.
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.
HB 1293 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.
Related web sites:
Text of HB 1293 – https://legis.state.sd.us/sessions/2007/bills/HB1293p.htm