South Dakota Measure 11 to Ban Most Abortions Gets Pro-Life Group’s OK

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 16, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

South Dakota Measure 11 to Ban Most Abortions Gets Pro-Life Group’s OK

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 16
, 2008

Pierre, SD ( — A national pro-life group is supporting a South Dakota ballot proposal that would ban most abortions in the state. Operation Rescue is endorsing Measure 11, the second attempt to ban abortions after South Dakota voters rejected a stronger measure in 2006.

After 44 percent of voters supported a ban on all abortions except those to save the life of the mother, pro-life advocates in South Dakota came back with a second attempt.

Measure 11, if enacted, would ban about 98 percent of abortions, except those in rare cases of rape or incest or in very narrow cases when the pregnancy severely threatens the mother’s health.

Operation Rescue is endorsing the measure because it has the potential of challenging Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that allowed virtually unlimited abortions throughout pregnancy.

"South Dakota’s Measure 11 is about saving many babies from certain death. Since that is the mission of Operation Rescue, it deserves our unwavering support," OR president Tory Newman told

"Measure 11 is a well planned and reasonable step toward the abolition of abortion. Statistically, Measure 11 will save nearly every child scheduled to die at Planned Parenthood," he added.

Newman said those who, like him, oppose abortions in cases of rape or incest, should appreciate that the drafters of the measure included strong language to ensure that provision isn’t abused.

"Additionally, the strong fraud provisions for so-called ‘tough choices’ of rape and incest would prevent Planned Parenthood from exploiting legal loopholes as they have in many other states," he explained.

While not everyone who is pro-life is on board with the South Dakota legislation because of the exceptions, Newman says the pro-life movement should rally around eliminating virtually all abortions.

"The pro-life community must vote for legislation that would save 99.9% of children that would otherwise be killed. It would be immoral to condemn hundreds of babies to die each year that we have within our ability to save with this measure," he said.

"After 35 years of decriminalized abortion, we understand that there is no ‘magic bullet’ that will stop all abortions today, but we can move the ball down the field toward the ultimate goal of total abolition with principled steps that will protect thousands of babies that are currently at risk," he said.

Some pro-life opponents of Measure 11 are also concerned that the Supreme Court will declare the proposal unconstitutional and add to the pro-Roe case law. They oppose the timing, rather than the principle, behind the measure.

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