Monday, March 06, 2006

The Sad State of our Nation

S. Dakota Legislation to Ban Most Abortions

PIERRE, S.D. - Gov. Mike Rounds signed legislation Monday that would ban most abortions in South Dakota, a law he acknowledged would be tied up in court for years while the state challenges the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.

The bill would make it a crime for doctors to perform an abortion unless the procedure was necessary to save the woman's life. It would make no exception for cases of rape or incest.

The Legislature passed the bill last month after supporters argued that the recent appointment of conservative justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito have made the U.S. Supreme Court more likely to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Under the new law, doctors could get up to five years in prison for performing an illegal abortion.

Kate Looby, state director of Planned Parenthood, said the organization has not yet decided whether to challenge the measure in court or to seek a statewide public vote in November. A referendum would either repeal the abortion ban or delay a court challenge to the legislation.

"Obviously, we're very disappointed that Governor Rounds has sided on the side of politics rather than on the side of the women of South Dakota to protect their health and safety," Looby said.


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