South Dakota Pro-Life Group Exceeds Signature Goal to Qualify Abortion Ban

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 31, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

South Dakota Pro-Life Group Exceeds Signature Goal to Qualify Abortion Ban Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 31
, 2008

Pierre, SD ( — The South Dakota pro-life group heading up the effort to get a second attempt at banning abortions on the November ballot has far exceeded the minimum of 16,776 signatures required to qualify. Vote Yes for Life tells the group has collected almost 50,000 signatures and confirmed over 47,000.

Though it may have seemed to some to be the longest and coldest winter on record in South Dakota, the pro-life group says the heat is on for the next battle over an abortion ban.

Vote Yes for Life plans to submit the signatures today to the Secretary of State’s office in Pierre and there’s little doubt the second effort will qualify.

Campaign manager Cherlyn Bosch tells that the signatures continue to come in at a high clip.

"There are still more petitions coming in and being counted, so we’re still not sure of the exact number we’ll be submitting," Bosch said Sunday night.

“The fact that the people of this state were able to collect above and beyond the number of signatures we needed — facing a harsh winter with subzero temperatures — shows an enormous outpouring of support of this issue," Bosch added.

Dr. Scott Ecklund, another representative of the pro-life group, is convinced the success in signature gathering proves what polls showed after the first abortion ban failed in 2006.

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

Yet, polls showed voters would have approved the ban had it contained exceptions to allow abortions in cases of rape or incest. This year, the organization has come back with a new ban that adds those exemptions.

“This initiative provides exceptions to allow for those rare cases. This is what the voters of South Dakota have asked for and this is the law to make that happen," Ecklund said.

Vote Yes for Life did not rely on paid petition gatherers and instead used an all-volunteer effort.

One helper, Mary Reihe, a daycare provider from Watertown who submitted close to 300 signatures, said she had an easy time getting her neighbors to sign the petition to get the ban on the ballot.

“It wasn’t hard to get people to sign the petition. The majority of South Dakotans do not want abortion to be used as birth control. I really think this is what the voters of our state have been asking for. It’s truly the peoples’ initiative,” she told

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 –