South Dakota Voters Will Consider Second Abortion Ban Effort in November
by Steven Ertelt
April 25, 2008
Pierre, SD (LifeNews.com) — South Dakota voters will have a second chance to consider an abortion ban as State Election Supervisor Kea Warne says the Yote Yes for Life group sponsoring the measure got enough signatures to qualify it for the ballot. The pro-life group needed 16,776 petition signatures and turned in about 50,000.
The first abortion ban prohibited all abortions except those necessary in very rare cases to save the life of the mother.
Voters rejected the ban and polls indicated beforehand that they would approve a ban that had rape and incest exceptions — essentially banning about 98 percent of all abortions in the state.
Vote Yes for Life put together a second ban with those exceptions and with a very narrowly drawn health exception that it says wouldn’t allow most abortions to remain legal in the way other health exceptions have on the state and national level.
Leslee Unruh, a spokewoman for the pro-life group, says she thinks this second ban will pass because voters said they wanted to prohibit abortions with the limited exceptions.
The head of Planned Parenthood, which runs the lone abortion business in the state, plans to strongly oppose the measure.
After turning in the signatures, campaign manager Cherlyn Bosch told LifeNews.com, 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."
However, not every pro-life group in the state is on board with the newly proposed abortion ban.
South Dakota Right to Life says it can’t back the ban because it can’t endorse a measure that allows abortions even in the very rare cases when a woman is a victim of sexual abuse.
SDRTL President George Dummann told LifeNews.com the ban’s "rape and incest and health-of-the-mother exceptions imply that some babies can be killed."
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.