by Steven Ertelt
April 2, 2008
Pierre, SD (LifeNews.com) — A leading South Dakota pro-life group says it can’t support a second effort to get voters to approve a ban on abortions. The first attempt failed and pro-life advocates behind the second one added rape and incest exceptions to get more support — but the change made it so South Dakota Right to Life can’t back the ban.
SDRTL President George Dummann said it "may come as a surprise" to some people that the group is not supporting the revised ban.
However, he told LifeNews.com his group simply can’t endorse a ban that allows abortions even in the very rare cases when a woman is a victim of sexual abuse.
Dummann said the ban’s "rape and incest and health-of-the-mother exceptions imply that some babies can be killed."
He said his group "was founded on and adheres to the basic principle that all people are created equal and have a God-given right to life that exists from the moment of conception and continues through to natural death."
"That right is absolute and exists equally for all stages of human life. Any variation of this is not acceptable," Dummann explained.
As LifeNews.com reported earlier this week, Vote Yes for Life, the pro-life group sponsoring the ban, turned in almost 47,000 signatures to qualify the abortion ban for the November ballot. That’s more than twice the 16,776 signatures required to qualify.
Dr. Scott Ecklund, a representative of the organization, is convinced the success in signature gathering proves what polls showed after the first abortion ban failed in 2006.
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.
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.