South Dakota Amendment Would Legalize Abortions Up to Birth

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Nov 23, 2022   |   5:57PM   |   Pierre, South Dakota

Abortion activists in South Dakota are trying to reverse its life-saving abortion ban with a state constitutional amendment that would allow unborn babies to be aborted for basically any reason up to birth.

Earlier this month, the pro-abortion group Dakotans for Health began circulating a petition to place the proposal on the ballot. They need to collect at least 60,000 voters’ signatures in order for the “Roe v. Wade Constitutional Amendment” to qualify, and then a majority of voters must approve it.

But pro-life advocates are warning voters not to sign the petition. Dale Bartscher, president of South Dakota Right To Life, said even late-term abortions on viable babies would be allowed if the amendment passes, South Dakota Public Broadcasting reports.

“We’ve seen these circulations firsthand. Many of them lie. They mislead. They don’t tell the truth to the public about the measure that they’re circulating,” Bartscher said. “That’s where South Dakotans can take our stand.”

He urged pro-lifers to help spread the word about how radical and deadly the amendment would be.

“We’re calling on our volunteers to help inform the public about how truly radical and out of step this amendment is,” Bartscher said.

Click here to sign up for pro-life news alerts from

Most Americans support strong protections for unborn babies, especially after the first trimester, but the amendment would not even do that. It explicitly prohibits any meaningful restrictions on abortions until the third trimester (after 27 weeks) – even though premature babies now are surviving as early as 21 weeks.

In the third trimester, the amendment deceptively purports to allow an abortion ban as long as there are exceptions to protect the life and “health” of the mother. However, the expansive “health” exception effectively cancels out any restrictions. In the U.S. and other countries, the term “health” is very broadly defined in abortion law to include basically anything; some abortionists say pregnancy itself is a “health risk,” therefore justifying the killing of unborn babies for any reason at any time.

Currently, South Dakota is one of 14 states that protect unborn babies by banning abortions. Exceptions are allowed if the mother’s life is at risk.

Polls consistently show most Americans support strong legal protections for unborn babies from abortion, especially after the first trimester. A recent Harvard poll found 72 percent of Americans, including 75 percent of women, oppose abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Another Marist poll in January similarly found 71 percent of Americans oppose abortion after the first three months of pregnancy.

Even in Democrat strongholds like California, polls show opposition to abortions through all nine months of pregnancy. For example, a Rasmussen poll in August found only 13 percent of California voters think abortions should be legal up to birth.

However, three states, California, Vermont and Michigan, passed pro-abortion amendments to their constitutions in November. Pro-life leaders warned that the amendments will void restrictions on late-term abortions and parental consent laws, and allow unborn babies to be killed for any reason through all nine months of pregnancy.

Pro-abortion activists dumped tens of millions of dollars into the states, funding massive misinformation campaigns that deceived voters about just how radical the amendments were.