South Dakota Pro-Life Group Files Lawsuit Over Misleading Abortion Ban Ads

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 20, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

South Dakota Pro-Life Group Files Lawsuit Over Misleading Abortion Ban Ads

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 20
, 2008

Sioux Falls, SD ( — A South Dakota pro-life group that is spearheading the efforts to get voters to approve a ban on almost all abortions has filed a lawsuit against abortion advocates who it says are misleading voters. Vote Yes for Life says the lead pro-abortion group against the ban is airing false advertisements against it.

The campaign is holding a press conference today to announce the lawsuit and explain why the ads are false.

The group tells that the ads allegedly make "patently false claims" about Measure 11, the ban on all abortions except those to save the mother’s life or in cases of rape or incest.

A first ban on abortion with only the life of the mother exception failed at the polls in 2006 but surveys showed South Dakota residents would support a ban on most all abortions if rape and incest exceptions were added.

Vote Yes for Life says the pro-abortion ads falsely claim that, if Measure 11 passes, government will be involved in deciding if a woman could have an abortion when faced with medical conditions that present a risk to her health. Nothing could be further from the truth, the group contends.

"The law is clear and it will not affect the way doctors currently practice medicine," Dr. Yvonne Seger, a Sioux Falls OBGYN and Measure 11 backer, told

Dr. Jane Gaetze, another OBGYN who supports Measure 11, added: "Diabetes, hypertension and cancer are all clearly covered in the context of Measure 11. The claims on the ad are completely false."

According to the pro-life group, 11 legal experts spent 8 months evaluating the law before it was placed on the ballot and they gave special attention to these extremely rare cases to protect doctors when the life and health of the mother is at risk.

Several doctors have signed affidavits as part of this legal action stating the ads are completely false.

"The pro-abortionists are not debating the law on its goal of ending abortion as a form of birth control. They know they will lose that debate with the people of South Dakota," Brandi Gruis with Vote Yes for Life added.

"They are not arguing that abortion should be used as a means of birth control because they know that the people of South Dakota want to end the use of abortion as birth control," she explained. "As a result, they are attempting to confuse the voting public by picking out highly technical issues, and misrepresenting the facts concerning those issues, believing that the people won’t know that they are not telling the truth. That practice is unethical and we are acting to bring it to an end."

"The fact is, 97% of abortions being done in our state are done for no medical reason at all and many women are having repeat abortions," Gruis concluded. "Measure 11 is designed to stop those abortions, while leaving very clear exceptions for rare cases of rape and incest and to protect the life and health of the mother."

Related web sites:
Vote Yes for Life –

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