South Dakota Catholic Bishop Swain Will Vote for Second Abortion Ban Effort
by Steven Ertelt
September 30, 2008
Sioux Falls, SD (LifeNews.com) — A Catholic leader in South Dakota says he plans to vote for Initiated Measure 11, the second attempt to ban most abortions in the state. Rev. Paul Swain of the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls says he will vote for the abortion ban and urges South Dakota Catholics to do so as well.
After prayerful discernment and consultation, I will vote yes on Initiated Measure 11 and encourage others to do so as well," Swain says in the pastoral letter.
Swain expresses some of the same misgivings about the abortion ban as other pro-life advocates who oppose the rape and incest exceptions included in it. But, he says the greater good of banning about 98 percent of the abortions in the state is sufficient to support it.
He also explains that the defeat of the first ban, which only contained a life of the mother exception, necessitated the new measure with the expanded exceptions.
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.
"Current law essentially allows abortion on demand. We have an opportunity to do what we can to ‘limit the harm done by such a law,’" Swain explains. "If this law is enacted, over 95 percent of abortions currently performed in South Dakota would be prohibited. And it would send a clear message to abortion providers that the culture of death is not the will of the people of South Dakota."
Bishop Swain also rebuts the objections posed by abortion advocates.
"Abortion advocates oppose this law because they say that it allows government into the private decision-making of individuals," he said.
"If that were the standard there would be few laws. Law by its definition intrudes into the lives of individuals for the common good. What can be more significant for the common good than the right to be born? The unborn have no private decision making freedom," he wrote in the letter.
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