South Dakota Pro-Life Group Confident Abortion Ban Will Reach November Ballot

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 12, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

South Dakota Pro-Life Group Confident Abortion Ban Will Reach November Ballot Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 12
, 2008

Pierre, SD ( — The head of the South Dakota pro-life group working to collect signatures to qualify another abortion ban for the November ballot says she’s confident her group will reach the finish line. Leslee Unruh of Vote Yes For Life is confident the organization will collect the 16,776 signatures of registered voters necessary to qualify.

In 2006, state voters narrowly rejected an abortion ban that prohibited all abortions except those necessary to save the life of the mother.

This year, the organization has come back with a new ban that adds rape and incest exceptions, which voters said would prompt them to support an abortion ban.

The ban also contains a tightly-worded health exception that would allow abortion in very rare cases when the pregnancy directly threatens the mother’s health. It’s not considered the same kind of health exception that normally guts abortion bans.

Last month, the group began a 12-city tour taking them across the state to obtain signatures for the second attempt at banning most abortions.

On Wednesday, Unruh told the Argus Leader she “didn’t want to guess” how many signatures the pro-life group has collected

“But there’s no doubt we will reach the number we need by April 1st,” Unruh said about reaching the deadline.

As has reported, Bishop Paul Swain of the Sioux Falls Catholic Diocese recently indicated pro-life Catholics could sign the petitions to get the ban on the ballot.

Some Catholics have expressed reservations about the new ban because it contains exceptions for rape and incest.

South Dakota voters previously defeated a ban that had only an exception to protect the life of the mother. Polls showed voters would have approved one with the rarely-used rape and incest exceptions.

There were 748 abortions performed in South Dakota in 2006, down from the 805 abortions performed in 2005, the South Dakota health department recently reported.

Related web sites:
Vote Yes for Life –